OVERCOME BURNOUT: WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE TIME OFF

Struggling with burnout? Stuck in a rut. This post is for you. Let’s overcome burnout.

I want to talk about something that I feel most business owners — especially newer business owners — are missing, and that is time OFF.

That’s right: I actually don’t think most people need more hustle.

It’s not that I think hustle is bad, I LOVE hustle. You’ve gotta have hustle.

But hustle is just half of it.

And I truly believe that the path to innovation… often lies in vacation. 😉

Now, I don’t necessarily mean some tropical resort on some island somewhere…though that’s great too… 

I mean any time away from work. Away from your daily environment. 

Some place that’s new and different… relaxing and restful…

First off, here’s the problem:

The benefit of working for yourself is you get to work when you want and how you want.

But, the downside of working for yourself is… you get to work when you want and how you want.

We all crave autonomy, that’s a big part of why some of us got into this entrepreneurship thing in the first place, BUT autonomy can be dangerous… without discipline.

And one important discipline that entrepreneurs MUST practice is making time off a necessity, not an afterthought.

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Overcome Burnout: Making Time Off a Discipline

When you get this discipline down — when you make time away from your business part of your business — you actually help your business (and yourself) in the long-run.

Alex Pang, author of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, actually made quite a few smarty pants observations about the value of time off. He said:

Work and rest are actually partners. They are like different parts of a wave. You can’t have the high without the low. The better you are at resting, the better you will be at working.”

So these might all sound like interesting insights, but why? Why does rest help us work better?

It all boils down to one word: PERSPECTIVE.

Stepping back and getting the big picture. 

It’s for this reason that when you’re driving, you don’t just stare at the pavement right in front of you. You look ahead in the distance, you look in your rear view mirror, you look to see what’s next to you. If you didn’t do these things, you wouldn’t be a very good — or safe  — driver.

And pointillist painter Georges Seurat would never have completed his masterpieces without stepping back and getting some perspective every once in a while.

(Otherwise, all those little dots would have driven him crazy.)

The point is — pun intended — that your best work can actually come when you’re not working. 

Overcome Burnout: Why You Need Time Off

If you’re new to business, you’re probably saying to yourself,  “I can’t afford to take time off.“

But I would say quite the contrary: You can’t afford not to take time off.

It doesn’t have to mean spending lots of money on a fancy trip or taking a six-month sabbatical; there are lots of ways to take time off in a frugal, yet meaningful way. 

Obviously, there can be a lot of value found by immersing yourself in a different place. It changes and broadens your perspective, and that will ultimately change and broaden the way you think about your business.

And while you may not be consciously working on your business, your subconscious will do all kinds of things when you change your environment.

One more thing: If you ever worked for someone else, you know that there were hours when the business was closed… and open. Time that you were forced to take off. If other, more established businesses can get by and even thrive by doing that, why would your small business be any different?

I mean, even God rested on the 7th day, y’all. 😉

3 Ways to Maximize Your Time Off

There are three things you need to do to get the most out of your time off so that it doesn’t negatively impact your business.

#1 WAY TO OVERCOME BURNOUT AND MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME OFF:

Be intentional. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work, but when it’s time to take time off, take time off. Flip the hustle switch off and let yourself rest, let your mind wander, and live in the moment of what you’re doing. 

That means vacation auto-responders are on, notifications are off, and work stuff is out of the picture.

#2 WAY TO OVERCOME BURNOUT AND MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME OFF:

Next, you have to schedule it. Sure, you may not think you have the ability to take time off in the next couple of weeks. But possibly in the next couple of months? Regardless of what stage of business you are in, look ahead 3, 4, 5 months in the future, pick a day, pick a week, pick a [undetermined amount of time], get it scheduled in your calendar, and protect it. 

Don’t let something get scheduled on top of that time off. When you set that date and make those plans, your work will actually accommodate that capacity. After all, contents fill a container.

#3 WAY TO OVERCOME BURNOUT AND MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME OFF:

And finally — and perhaps most importantly —  if you’re a business owner, you need to budget it

Whether a day trip or a full-on vacation, that’s gonna cost money, so set that budget ahead of time, divide that by the number of weeks you have to until your time off, and set aside that small amount each week in a fund that is specifically earmarked for your time off. MATH!

Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for said time off. As Uncle Dave says, “You don’t want your vacation following you home.”

So by being intentional, scheduling it. and budgeting for it, you can make time off a priority rather than an afterthought. You can make it inevitable.

Then with this time off, who knows, you too could be on to your next big idea or newest discovery! 

After all…

…Archimedes was in the bathtub when he had his famous “Eureka!” moment…

Sir Isaac Newton was in an apple orchard when he had the insight that became the theory of gravity…

and I was on vacation in the mountains when I had the idea for this show. 

Archimedes, Newton, and me. Three of the greats. 😉

Now, it’s your turn! I want to hear from you: Do you practice the discipline of taking time off? How do YOU overcome burnout?

If you’ve never taken time off from your business, make it happen now. Pick a date in the future, start budgeting — make it inevitable. Make it happen.

Then come back here and tell me your plans. 

Where will you be going? 

What will you be doing?

And, if you already had something planned, share that too and gives us all some ideas!

Remember: you are only as good at working as you are at resting.

HI, I’M COURTNEY!

I’m here to help you build, grow, and scale your business.

Check out my show here:

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