Taking Time Off
Many of us, as business owners, don’t really know how to take time off from work. We say, “I’m going to the beach,” but first thing every morning we check our emails, call the office, etc., and that’s not really a day off. If you’re working at all, no matter where you may be, it’s not a day off.
So here’s the rule for how to take time off, whether it’s a weekend or whether it’s a week at the beach, or whatever it is. When you take a day off, you unplug from everything to do with your business. You do not read the newspaper and look at the business section. You do not tune into business news on TV. You do not call the office. You do not check your email. You do not have your phone in your hand all day long on the beach checking how everything is going and texting with people at work. You unplug from all of that stuff.
Honestly, this will probably be very hard and really uncomfortable. But if you’re at a party, you’re taking time off. Let’s say you’re at a barbecue, and you’re drinking beer around the grill and the fellows say, “Gosh how are things going at your shop? Is business good for you?” You’re supposed to turn around and say, “I can’t talk about that with you today because it’s a free day. If you really want to talk about it then I’ll be glad to call you next week and discuss it.” It’s a little awkward, but the other stuff is pretty easy to do once you get used to it, so you don’t have your laptop open checking email, you don’t have your handheld device, you’re not calling the office, you’re not doing all that other stuff.
Now some of you are addicted and you really can’t help yourself. You just say, “Well I’m just going to check my email for five minutes.” Five hours later your wife says, “Would you please go for a boat ride with us?” About the only way that some of you can unplug is to get on a cruise ship. So schedule a nice cruise with the family, because then you won’t have any choice, since half the time out there you don’t have internet access anyway, so it forces you to really get away from everything. It’ll take two or three days for your mind to begin to relax but then by the end of the week you’ll be a different person. You’ll be eager and hungry to go back to work but you will have improved. You will have gotten better. You will have uncluttered your mind. When you go back to work you’ll be more productive.
Actually, most of us in business are operating at about 40 or 50% efficiency because we work so hard, so my appeal to you is when you take time off for a weekend, or travel, or a holiday, or any other time off, unplug yourself and really get away.