Science Says Entrepreneurs Need a Vacation

design copy 2You don’t have to search very long to find a study that adds credibility to the fact that vacations aren’t just essential for giving you a much needed break, they actually make you work harder and more productive when you get back.

This is not a foreign concept by any stretch of the imagination. Henry Ford himself recognized the diminishing returns that came from making employees work six days instead of five, eventually re-instating a five-day work week.

Heck, there are even studies showing business owners can become better entrepreneurs by taking a vacation. So why is it so hard for us to do it?

Can’t Go on Vacation? You Need Better Systems

This topic resonates with me right now because I just got back from a trip to Alaska and the feeling of rejuvenation I have is something I feel everyone needs at least once a year.

I really do believe that one of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is not taking the time for themselves to tune out and go on a vacation. I often hear people say things like, “Well, I can’t go on vacation my business needs me.” There is a lesson to be learned here and it’s that you need to work on your systems.

If an employee is so integral to a system that no one else can do it, including the owner, then you have a problem with the system because you are building it around a person. If you lose that person, you gain a big problem.

Create Something That Can Be Replicated

When creating a business, you need to create something that can be replicated so other people can help move it forward. This is how you can take time off as a business owner.

I tell all my clients to make sure they take time off and get that separation. You don’t just need it for yourself, you need to do it for your business.

Taking a vacation from your business will give you an opportunity to determine how your business will succeed in the future (or not) when you want to play a smaller role.

Make Your Employees Take Vacation (They Need It)

I have heard a lot of my clients say that their employees don’t want to take vacation, they just want to keep working. The best advice I can offer for this is to make them take their vacation.

This is the exact same reason why you need to take a vacation: your employees need to reinvigorate and they need that down time.

One Week Is Not Enough

In my opinion, one week is not enough to get re-invigorated. Short vacations make it much more difficult to break away from the work mentality then it is on long vacations.

When it comes to me personally, I would say that short vacations help a little bit but long vacations help a lot. I think you need to be out at least three weeks before you truly see a difference in yourself AND your business.

Three weeks is key for your business to grow because if you’re only gone for one week, employees will pile stuff up on your desk knowing that you’ll be back soon enough to deal with it. After two weeks, they start deliberating whether it can wait or not and three weeks is that point in time where your team realizes they need to deal with the problems on their own.

If you haven’t taken a vacation in the last year, my advice to you is to start planning one right away. It will be the best thing you’ve done for yourself and your business in a while.

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