Entrepreneurs are generally pretty good at many things, but one thing they don’t have in their back catalogue of attributes is the ability to simply do…nothing. Relax, in other words. Yet relaxing has benefits that can be useful to any successful business leader; it allows us to think more clearly, restores our energy, and keeps our well from running completely dry. So why aren’t more and more entrepreneurs swapping the office for the shoreline? You guessed it…they can’t tear themselves away from what they’re trying to achieve. Noble, but misguided – that beach time will do them more good than a few tired days in the office. If this sounds like you, here’s all you need to know to disconnect and get away.
A Trial Run
No one’s suggesting that you run off to the foothills of the Himalayas for a month or two to “find yourself”. At least not right away. To begin, why not start by just taking a few days to relax and unwind, and see how you cope with the feeling of being away from business? A night or two camping somewhere beautiful under a blanket of a million stars will be a good taster of the kind of relaxed perspective you would enjoy from a longer trip away. If you absolutely hate it, then at least it’s only for a couple of days. It’s easy to set up and won’t cause too much disruption to your office, so you can get up and go just about any time you have a relatively empty schedule.
Book The Holiday
Of course, if you’re really out of sorts then you might have no choice but to take an extended break. Your partner or even your staff might force it upon you. More likely, you just know yourself that it’s time to take a step back for a week or so and let that little tank of yours fill back up as much it can. However the decision is made, make sure you waste no time in actually booking the getaway. If you’re waiting for a quiet week, then, well, it’ll never happen, and you know it. The longer it goes on, the less likely it is to happen – book as soon as and start counting down the day! The only question is…where will you go? Is it to a remote log cabin, one deep in the woods and surrounded by mountains and lakes? Is it a cultural trip the great cities of Europe? Or is it simply anywhere nice and warm that also happens to have a cracking beach? Your choice…
Making Sure Things Are In Check
As you count down to your trip away, you’ll want to make sure everything is in place for your absence. By taking preventative steps, you’ll be able to actually relax when you’re away. Don’t do it and there’s no point going, because you’ll be stressing the whole time! This means making sure your staff are fully informed that you’ll be gone, and making sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be working on. Make sure all systems are alive and kicking by ensuring your IT Services are all taken care of. You can also set up an automatic email reply so people wishing to get in touch know that they shouldn’t expect to hear from you until you’re back.
Promoting Someone for A week
If you’re really concerned about how the office and your company will be running when you’re not there, you can always consider bringing in a replacement for yourself during the time you’ll be away. This is generally better suited for the times when you’ll be away for longer periods, say a month or more, but it can also be handy for shorter breaks too. The logical inhouse step is to temporarily promote the person who is directly below you, but if this isn’t an option then you can always bring in someone from the outside. Contact a recruitment agency and spend some time with the “new you” before you go away. By having someone with experience in the office, you’ll be able to relax knowing they can handle anything that happens while you’re away.
When you’re away, it’s imperative that you disconnect from the world for a while. Your iPhone, laptop, and company are all a gigantic part of your life, you can leave them behind for a short while you try to enjoy your new surroundings. It might be harder than you think, however. More of us than ever are addicted to our smartphones and the internet, so it might feel strange to not be waiting for your device to buzz and not checking up on what’s happening in the outside world. But for now, your mountains or beach or whatever you have around you is the world! Fall into the deep rhythms of your new location; fighting it will only counteract the relaxation you’re supposed to be feeling.
Or…If you Absolutely Must Check In
We fully advocate the need to turn off your phone and just do something else for a while – letting your mind wander without the focal point of work is imperative to restoring your sapped energy and spirit. However, if you really are obsessed with what you do then going cold turkey might do more harm than good. If you find yourself stressing about what’s going on back home, then OK – call the office and check it hasn’t burned down in your absence. But if you must, at the very least allocate a set period of time for “work”, even if it is just a call. The best thing to do is to call at the same time everyday, say the morning or just before dinner in the evening. It’ll put your mind at rest and stop you from harassing your travel partner with hypothetical questions.
In all, though, the aim should be to switch off entirely. When you’re back, fully restored from a week or so of just relaxation and your thoughts, you’ll be busting with energy and ideas – and that’s exactly what your business needs you to be.