One common “problem” that comes up as a business owner is that you have the potential to be “on” at all times.
The world around you doesn’t stop.. even during COVID.
I know I’ve struggled with feeling like I can’t stop either, even when I know it is absolutely necessary.
I know I’m not alone!
I have supervised many dietitians who struggle with taking time off. Whether their clients need them for appointments, or projects have deadlines that can’t be pushed back, many feel like it’s hard to take time off.
The problem with not taking a break is that you will slowly get burnt out.
It won’t happen overnight, but a slow and steady resentment toward work will start to build. You may not feel as excited about work, or maybe you begin to feel overwhelmed. You might find yourself avoiding tasks and to-dos and procrastinating projects. YES this happens to everyone, including me! I know myself and my business well enough now that I know I need to step back when I get this feeling.
Every year I give myself some time off around Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, and the end of the summer. The COVID pandemic ruined any type of “travel” this year, but I am still determined to have some downtime right now as summer is winding down and school is starting for my oldest child.
Boundaries are so important when taking time off.
You don’t want to come back to work feeling like your time off wasn’t worth it! Here are a few tips for you to consider if you are planning to take time off.
1. Schedule your time a few months in advance. Do not plan projects deadlines, launches, or anything(!) around this time OR for two weeks after your vacation.
2. Let your clients know a month in advance you will be “off” during this time and give them one last reminder the week before you leave.
3. Setup an “out of the office” auto message on your email, stating you will respond to messages when you return and a reminder of that return date. You may even want to change your voicemail to reflect that you are out of the office and will return calls the day you return.
4. Give yourself a “grace day” the first day you return to work. I like to schedule a few hours on my calendar and call it “catch up” the day before I am officially “back to work” from time off. **Another great tip is to try this at the start of the normal work week as well**
5. Have FUN!! This may go without saying but I think it’s important: make sure you schedule something fun for your time! With COVID in our world right now, it’s hard to travel and crowded “normal” events may not happen. If you are just lounging at home, find a way to make it feel extra special.
I promise you, taking time off works.
Some of my best ideas have come to me after a vacation or a time away from my laptop. It’s so good for your mental health to get away from everyday life, even if it’s just for a few days.
Do you have anything planned for yourself this last week of summer? If nothing is on your calendar, schedule a pajama day! 🙂
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