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Taking Time Off For Your Business

As a business owner, wouldn't it be great if you could take time off whenever you needed to? Unfortunately, most small business owners worry that the business will fall apart if they're not there to mind the store. Too often, they simply lack the appropriate resources for their business to keep going in their absence.

"Taking time off is as important as food," says Charles Tuttle, leader of a group of entrepreneurs in North Carolina. Don't worry if this statement raises a red flag for you. Although taking time off can be especially challenging and downright impossible sometimes, it's important to know that you can do something to make it happen. It takes deliberate work on your part and here are a few simple ideas to get you started.

Find a way to make work fun. If your work is stressful, build in laughter to ease the stress and tension. Take frequent breaks to stretch or breathe if you're sitting all day. Fun makes the passing of the day more enjoyable. Try it and watch your fabulous day unfold!

Take leisure time in smaller chunks. Look at opportunities to journal, meditate or read between appointments and activities. It may seem pointless but it goes a long way in developing your time management skills while caring for your need to unplug. Tap into a little bit of spare time in your productivity process. It's a great way to balance the scales in your favor!

Plan personal time on your calendar. Your calendar reflects your commitment to priorities or what's important in your life. Typically, if you set aside the time on your calendar, you will observe it. Plan, then act to ensure you're creating plenty of break time and doing something important in your life. You'll have a greater sense of integrity and accomplishment at the same time.

Consider taking time off on a weekday. Who said you can only have fun on the weekends? Take time off in the middle of the week or even at the beginning! You'll be surprised at how imaginative you'll become while creating your fun time.

Identify unconventional ways to take time off. Time off may mean snuggling on the couch in your favorite bathrobe. It may also mean turning the ringer on the phone off, turning the TV and radio off or going to a park to feed the ducks. Your assignment (should you choose to accept it) is to get away from your business ? whatever that means for you. Most entrepreneurs are in business because it offers freedom and flexibility so learn to capitalize on it!

Acknowledge yourself weekly for your accomplishments. What you do is hard work so pat yourself on the back for it! Select rewards that nurture and care for you like a facial, manicure, massage or other spa treatment. Treat yourself to a movie or read a good book. The more you acknowledge your progress, the more you'll enjoy the journey!

Reward yourself for completed projects. You deserve a reward for completing the big projects in your business. Accordingly, let the reward match the milestone you reach when you complete a project. Plan a day trip, weekend getaway, or seven-day cruise. Whatever you enjoy, these are moments to treasure. Establish your reward at the beginning of the project so you'll have an incentive to motivate to move you forward.

These are a few simple ideas to help you practice taking time off from your business. Remember, whether you're just starting, squeezing a few moments out here and there or in full throttle, taking time off is good not only for you. It's great for your business, too!

Wendy Y. Bailey is a Personal and Business Coach with Brilliance In Action, a professional coaching organization that helps women entrepreneurs, business owners and business professionals blend their personal and business lives. For more information, visit www.ebrilliance.net

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