Another year is quickly coming to a close, and I am not afraid to admit: I am tired!
Reflecting on the year that has been, I can confess it has had its fair share of trials and tribulations (which comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur). But, it was also filled with overwhelming success and achievements, on the back of sheer determination, hard work and a passion that is constantly ignited.
This determination, hard work and passion which is nestled within all entrepreneurs and founders has definitely taken its toll.
But, without the luxury of four weeks annual leave and/or sick leave (and, as many Aussies gear up to kick back with the ebb and flow of a professional services job), how and when do entrepreneurs and founders recuperate from a busy working year?
The answer is: NOW! Having risked it all and put everything on the line as an entrepreneur, I have learnt taking time off is essential not just for my sanity, but for the betterment of my business.
As entrepreneurs, I think we can all agree there is no slow period and there is always something that needs to be done ASAP. However, switching off can often be the key to better and bigger wins in the days, months and years ahead.
I know from experience switching off is easier said than done. So, here’s how you take a step back this festive season:
Unplugging from the business you’ve built with your bare hands, from the ground up, can seem like a daunting task. But, its importance should never be downplayed.
Turning off everything work-related, including email and calendar notifications, can add a sense of calm and grounding to one’s life (and can even breathe new life into passion).
In the past, I have consciously taken the time to give up technology for periods of time, and have found it helps to reduce stress, build productivity and inject clarity into decision-making.
Let someone else drive
It is not always easy, but you need to be able to delegate leadership to your staff.
By delegating responsibilities to other team members, you may find you could hand over more work, more often, freeing up your time for greater tasks.
Your employees may also be further motivated by the chance to take on new roles and responsibilities.
The holiday season is a great chance to give this a go.
Pull the handbrake up
Sometimes, you just need to STOP. If your mind is so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of actually running the business, then you forget why you actually started the business and what the end-goal really is.
Stopping and relaxing helps you reset, and alter your mindset so it aligns with the mission and vision of your business.
Remember where you are heading
It’s almost impossible to think big picture if you are working hard to check every little box off your day-to-day to-do list.
Instead of managing daily tasks, take the time to relax and work on a strategy for the year ahead that inches you closer to your ultimate business goal. Often, we get consumed by the everyday-tasks, however, it is important to put these to the side and draw a roadmap to ensure you are still on the path to achieving your ultimate vision.
By focusing solidly on the future, you can be assured everything is progressing with purpose.
For many of us, running our own business looks like an attractive possibility … it is often seen as an opportunity to choose the hours we want to work and take holidays when it suits.
However, it is easy to forget the copious amounts of pressure entrepreneurs are under as they strive to meet deadlines, satisfy clients and make money. What was once considered freedom can quickly evolve into a 24-hour, all-consuming obligation.
But, it is vital entrepreneurs recognize the benefits that come with relaxing and taking time off. I always feel refreshed and energized after taking time away, and a holiday definitely inspires creativity and helps reset the focus on what’s important.
This Christmas, I encourage you all to take a break, put your feet up, and gain a new perspective. Next year, you will be able to return to the office with a renewed passion and sharpened mind and will be ready to take great strides towards your goals.