It’s that time of the year: long weekend time! A time to wrap up all projects at work for the weekend, keep your Outlook unopened, and hopefully your iPhone or Blackberry will also be closed for business. Who wants to be plugged in when there are barbecue grills to fire up, pools to splash in, and road trips (insert mandatory exclamation point here:!) to hit the road with?
Surprisingly for small business owners, that answer is less than half. According to BusinessNewsDaily,about 46% of small business owners will go on a summer vacation this year. This is compared to the 67% that took vacations in 2006. Granted, it was a different time in ’06, both for the economy and gas prices. But we here at MyCorp are betting to guess that those who don’t take the time off for summer vacations might not be taking this Memorial Day weekend off either. Finding the line between career and personal life for many individuals is beginning to blur, as the digital age mandates that we stay completely plugged in, logged in, and sending auto-replies at all times.
For the next three days as well as for the summer, summer, summertime, we think you can take a break. Here’s why you deserve it:
1) “Don’t wait until you’ve hit red to recharge yourself.”
Truer words were never spoken than by global marketer Alicia Kan. You probably remember the days of being a student, when you would cram all night for a test while ingesting Cheetos and too much coffee. You might have repeated this habit for the next couple of days, particularly during finals week. At the very end of the week you’d be in desperate need of a long winter’s nap and some Vitamin C. Did you feel terrible? Yes. But everything got done and to the best of your knowledge, well, which made it all worth it. Right?
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are taking on so many more responsibilities these days than ever before. Much of the constant need to be on top of your game and producing fresh content is spurred by social media networks. Twitter never sleeps and spits out new information every couple of minutes. Keeping up with the Jones’ is beginning to become an overwhelming task-and might end up running you into the ground.
Don’t wait until your diet is Cheetos and coffee to recharge. Listen to your physical and mental needs. Feeling a bit out of shape? Schedule in a time in the morning before or after work to exercise. Overwhelmed with responsibilities at work? Take on each task at a time and work at a pace you feel most comfortable at. If possible, talk to your boss about how you feel. Most of the time, they can tell if you need help and are willing to work with you to create a schedule that keeps you busy but not to the point where you feel pressured to complete every project perfectly. Skip surfing the web at home for an extra hour of sleep if you feel particularly sleepy- nothing is worse than being caught yawning by your boss during a conference meeting the next day!
2) Refuel Your Creativity
In addition to caring for your physical and mental well-being, taking a few days to work creatively on your own on a non-business related project is great brain food. Make a dent in a book you’ve had on your summer reading list or dust off the easel and paint set. Your five senses will thank you and the change of routine will do you good.
3) Step Outside of Your Box
Many of you know your box well. It might be a cubicle, a corner office with a view, or your laptop on your desk at home. The fact remains that at the end of the day, you might leave your box temporarily, but you’ll be returning to it tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.
If you’re going somewhere this Memorial Day weekend or during the summer, make it somewhere you haven’t been to. Always wanted to visit New York or Orlando? Book a reservation! Understandably, the want to visit a place you haven’t been to might lose in favor of not having enough money to make the journey. In that case, explore a part of the city or state you haven’t been to yet. Keep it local by going to a museum or art gallery you’ve always wanted to visit that you never quite got around to. This also adds to our number 2 listed above and provides you and your family with a memorable experience as well as brain food for thought.
If at all possible, do try to leave your laptop behind at home. This ensures that the device stays safe and also keeps the temptation of attempting to log into your Facebook account at bay.
Unless you have an iPhone. Then you might want to have someone keep that out of your reach…
Happy Memorial Day everyone!