You deserve a vacation.
This is Lee. Lee works 60 hours a week for his own small business. The exhaustion is at a point where it is unbearable and he is ready to throw in the towel. Lee hasn’t had a vacation in a year. He is scared to take a vacation because he has worked so hard to build up his business. He knows if he is not at work then he will not be making money as he provides a service. Lee also knows he will not be there for his clients to get their services and critical tasks to the running of his business will not be done when he is not there.
This is Sally, she is in management in the corporate world. She has 25 employees under her that she is directly responsible for along with all their workload management, leave, concerns, and performance evaluations. Sally also has to answer to multiple people above her. She is exhausted but knows if she takes a vacation she will come back to hundreds, if not thousands of emails in her inbox. It will take her days to weed through them and clean up which means productivity on other things will be lacking. Her boss is not keen on her taking a vacation either. She is exhausted and experiencing burnout.
Maybe one of the people above sounds like you. I know a good many people who feel the way the above people feel. In fact, I found myself feeling a lot like the people above.
Everyone needs a break.
When I started working, I thought I should only take one week off a year and that should be a week with a holiday. You know, so you only miss four workdays. My parents are small business owners and this is how I grew up. One week off a year and the rest of the year, you work and you work as hard as you can. My parents are super heroes and work harder than anyone I have ever met in my entire life. They instilled in us a type of work ethic that can be hard to find in the world today and this work ethic has carried me very far in life.
So for the first four years, I followed suite and took my one week of vacation a year. Thats when I looked up while having a small child on my hands, pregnant with number two, and realized I had over 160 hours of annual leave sitting in my leave account and growing. I was exhausted, burned out, and about to lose my mind. I had worked as hard as I possibly could and was currently the youngest member of our management team. I remember my husband looking at me and saying “Sam, life is a marathon, not a sprint.”
We are all human. We all need a minute to checkout and refresh so we can live to work another day.
I realized I needed to take some of my leave to regroup and refresh. I realized it was ok to step away for a few days. Stepping away for a long weekend was the best thing I did for myself and family at the time. When I got back to work, the work was still there. It didn’t go anywhere. From then on I sat down and made a schedule to take some time and step away to regroup a couple of days each quarter. I knew I needed this time to be my best and keep my sanity.
But how should Lee and Sally handle their worries about taking vacation time?
My number one tip to helping ease that worry and anxiety is…
If you can, plan your leave in advance. When you know when you will be gone, you can prepare those around you well in advance. I have found if people hear you say or you email them that you will be out of the office on x, y, and z days then others can plan too. I can finish up things before I leave, plan with others meetings and tasks for when I get back, and make sure if anyone has any questions they can get them to me before I leave. Also, have someone who can be your delegation to answer simple questions while you are gone.
Small business owners can let their clients know well in advance and schedule appointments around those dates. If you provide a service, planning is key! If you can, plan your vacations around your slowest times of the year. Have a trusted colleague, friend, or relative who can help you while you are gone to check in on your business. This can help give you reassurance while you are away and know your business is being monitored. An update can be just a phone call or email away.
Remember, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Since my conversation with my husband and letting the “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” sink in, we have taken more time to spend with our family. Time is precious. The adventures we have taken as a family over the past two years have been some of the best times in my life.
We have found the adventures can be as simple and as extravagant you want. They can a trip to the park, the beach, a baseball game, or even to Disney World.
I’ve been known to be a workaholic. I had someone once tell me, “Work will go on with or without you there.”. If you were to pass away they would just replace you with someone else. However, you are irreplaceable to your family. You can never be replaced by someone else.
Stay tuned to Library Of Biz.
We want to help you make your adventures fun and affordable. We are adding a travel section to our blog! The new section will provide ideas and reviews to our readers on where they can go to unwind, relax, and have fun with their families!
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