10 Ideas How to Take More Time Off

Believe it or not... if you take some time off... the world will not fall apart without you.

Even successful entrepreneurs have some bad habits. One of the big ones is not knowing when to take a break.

For many small business owners, it’s almost impossible to take a step back and relax. It’s easy to have an “always-on” mentality when you’re an entrepreneur. You own a business that depends on you to survive, so you never really get a day off – right?

This attitude can kill both your business and you as the owner. While you might feel uncomfortable or guilty taking time off, it’s essential to give yourself time to rest so you can come back strong and rejuvenated.

The “easy” solution, of course, is to take time off in the form of occasional days off or extended vacations. But those solutions don’t always work: If, as soon as you’re out of the office, you can’t help checking your email or worrying about what’s going on back in your business.

Too often, at the end of a vacation you might wind up feeling more stressful than before.

Of course, time off is necessary, but only if you can take it without adding more work to your load. So, how can you do that…

Here are 10 ideas that could help you take more time off:

1. Take Small Breaks Every Day

Work your way up to the idea of taking a vacation by adding these three exercises into your daily routine: First, go for a walk for 30 minutes in nature. Second, give your mind a break before and after sleep by limiting screen time. Third, try mindfulness meditation to reduce anxiety and gain greater control over your thoughts.

2. Set a Date And Stick to It

Set a vacation date and make it non negotiable. You can let your (internal/external) team know you’re available for an hour or two on certain days, but setting boundaries is critical to taking time off. You should also ensure your team has all the tools they need to complete their work while you’re out of the office.

3. Plan Ahead

Plan ahead of time so you can prepare the necessary tasks in advance. You can still do a ‘light’ check-in while on vacation to ensure those tasks are being accomplished.

4. Take It Slowly

Start by planning a long weekend with a couple of scheduled check-ins. Once you see how good it is to get a break and how competent your team is, you’ll be able to take the next trip without any check-ins. Eventually, you can work your way up to a summer vacation.

5. Add Off Days to Business Trips

You need to take vacations at different times of the year, not just during the summer. If there are times when you’re traveling for work to a conference or business meeting, then add a few days off to extend the trip. You’ve already organized your calendar to accommodate that time off, so adding a few more days at the end is easier.

6. Go During Your Off-season

Every business has ‘seasons’ when a business’s growth rate slows down. If you can plan your vacation around this time, there’s less need for you to be at work and you can afford to leave other people in charge.

7. Delegate or Postpone
For each task, including your day-to-day responsibilities as well as emergency situations that might pop up, decide whether to delegate or postpone your action. To delegate, designate one of your team members to take on the task in your absence. To postpone, title the task as “unimportant,” and know you’ll handle it once you’ve returned.

8. Make Yourself Unavailable
Schedule at least two days off and make yourself unavailable for most, if not all, of the day. Set boundaries and define the dates you are out. Otherwise, it’s too easy to say, ‘I’m just going to check my email and put out some fires before going for a walk.’ 

9. Establish “Worry Time”
If you find that even while disconnecting, you can’t help but worry about your job, try to refocus your efforts so you only worry for a certain period of time each day. For example, you might designate 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. as your “worry time,” to check emails and think about what’s going on back at work. But as soon as 1 p.m. hits, you have to pull yourself away from the screen and focus only on enjoying yourself.

10. Book Time to Catch Up On Work

Book 60-90 minutes a day to catch up on work. Dedicate one hour a day with your morning coffee or before you go to bed to go through reports and your email inbox. With the right planning, emergencies and setbacks are handled easily so you can take some rest.

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… what can YOU do to take more time off?

Let's Brainstorm

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Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Let's Brainstorm

00:
Days
00:
Hrs
00:
Mins
00
Secs
.000
00:00:00:00

Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. 1. plan in advance - especially food for the kids.
    2. get a cleaner
    3. stop and think instead of running all day for no reason (like me!)

  2. Nice list!
    Recognizable. Do more than you expect you can!
    All dayly routines, morning routines, give me so mocht energy, that it sometimes geels like I' m unstoppable.... Just do that one thing extra in the list. A little over focused? As long work is like hobby, there don't seem to be any problem. Than work even gives you energy....
    But I know there must be some time to upload the battery.

  3. How to take more time off?
    * what helps me is to plan with someone else (family or friends)
    * make a plan for the off-time. It helps to stick to it.
    * Have a dog who takes me out, helps for daily off time.

  4. Time off is important also during the day.
    Twice a week I go walking with a friend. We catch up with things we find important and have a walk in nature.
    As I have only 2 hours of sun on my balcony during the day and love sun bathing I take every chance to sit in the sun during those hours. It is mandatory time off from my laptop as well, as I cannot read the screen.
    I don't plan holidays, but people ask me to watch their house when they have a holiday. It is already a different surrounding and I take more me time.
    Visiting a sauna is really a day off.
    And most days of the week I take a power nap. That is really refreshing.

  5. I answered by phone, but this is not posted. I wonder why it does not work from mobile phone?

    Anyway, I will try again, maybe having the result that I send this twice.

    1. I have learned from my earlier work, that it is wise to go physically away from the laptop to let your shoulders, arms, hands and mind recover.
    2. So I find other things to do then: look out of the window to birds passing, trees becoming greener and greener and so on.
    3. Have a long walk in nature with a friend once a week
    4. Walk to town while I do not need to buy a thing and end up with chailatte on a terrace on my own
    5. Have restricted opening hours of my webshop, besides giving clients the possibility to contact me by mail or by app out of opening hours.
    6. Prepare books to read and crafting to do with little children.

  6. I plan several breaks a day, and try to plan things in advance. I have some big goals, so I want to finish many things soon, so I keep working. However, I know I should take some real time off every now and then to get more creative and just relax. I really had to learn how to take it slowly...

    I never have my phone on. People don't like it, but it saves me time and stress.

  7. 1. Use the Urgent-Important Matrix - I'm not always aware of the urgency of my tasks. When I use the matrix, I can very often conclude that most of the the tasks actually CAN wait. It makes it easier for me to plan a (short) break.

    2. Send your clients home for the weekends - I do it all the time, but I know I shouldn't: working on client projects in the weekend. And don't let your clients get used to communication in the weekends!!! Creative stuff, product development and working ON my business are fine on Saturdays and Sundays, I'm even more focused then.

    3. Skip classes - I used to skip classes when I was in secondary school. It was kind of exciting. Nowadays I call my short daily breaks 'skipping classes'. It makes me feel very excited, like I'm a teenager again.

    4. Turn off your devices on your holiday or break - DO IT!!

    5. Plan breaks with a friend, your partner (and/or your kids) - It's easier committing to it. You could also plan breaks with them on a regular basis (like a weekly walk in nature).

    6. I wanted to add 'use your out of office reply', but I just learned from @Aramik that I'm old fashioned so I keep that one for myself

    1. @Hi Ine, I totally agree with you on #5... when you/I plan a time-out with friends and especially with family it becomes easier to execute it without feeling guilty towards my the business.

      That's the reason why I always do a YEARLY planning of my vacations and breaks as part of my yearly business plan. This way I know when to plan my products launches (whether books or courses), when to do the writings and I then have a strict deadlines which I need to meet because there is a vacation promised at the end of the "rainbow"...))

  8. For me taking time of is crucial for my creativity.
    In my yearly planning I always plan taking off two weeks twice a year. It's also my "Me-TIme" so I combine it with some kind of retreat.

    However I also make sure that during the week I take some time off to rejuvenate myself, it can be even just 30 minutes a day, but I believe it's crucial. it can be my daily meditation or weekly Yoga class, or my daily walks in nature.

    I believe that these times, though we call them "Time-Off" are the ones that bring up the most creative and productive ideas, therefore are part of the whole process... There is a reason why Archimedes (the Greek scholar) was known to come up with his great invention while taking a bath... thus... Eureka

  9. Yeah! Such an important topic and yet many of us just forget to do this on the regulair basic.

    I love all your 10 tips and in addition to one of them "Take Small steps every day" : I am now practicing to do a 30-minutes Power Naps between 14:00-15:00 for almost 6 months. It has changed my whole daily productivity. So it is worth it to give it a try.

    And further, here are my idea's:

    1: No matter if you are on a business trip or holidays with family, give yourself 5 days off after coming back to just get to used to being back and let your "Soul" come back, in stead of just ending your holidays and bam! Next day showing up at the office and expecting to be productive 🙂

    2: Use automation software like Buffer App or Hootsuit or Later, to schedule your Social Media Posts.

    3: If you don't have a team: Get a VA to just check your emails and answer them. In these days of 2022, a "out of office"-message is really outdated and so 2008... 🙂

    4: Maybe I am contradicting with one of your idea's here above, but please: Do not take a "Social Media Detox" and then just tell every body the day before you do it... If you want to downsize your activities, just do so. Don't announce it because then every body will just open the discussions with you, just before you are leaving for a break... Wel.. Guess how relaxed that is? 🙂

    5: Make your family members into your "accountability" team during the holidays.

    6: Time off = Meditate more during the day. Just for 5 minutes and use apps like "Headspace" of "meditation moments".

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