Question: Should entrepreneurs take time away from their business? If so, why and how much/how often?
Yes, Make It a Priority
"When I recognized the power of stepping away, I was able to tap into even more creativity and energy to plug back into the businesses upon my return. I travel one to two times per month for pleasure, but I always find ways to wrap in networking meetings with interesting people wherever I am. You can't see the spot on which you stand, so get off of it from time to time and get some perspective."
Yes, Go Before You're Ready
"Often, business owners I talk to are going to plan their next five years, automate everything in their business, and THEN take a vacation. This means they never go. Instead, plan a vacation each quarter -- even if it's just two days away -- and use that as a learning experience about what needs attention so your business can survive without you there 24/7/365."
Yes, to Recharge
"Even though I usually still work while I'm away, traveling to new places does help to rejuvenate and get a better perspective about what's important."
Yes, Plan Something to Look Forward To
"Reserve time in your schedule away from your business to recharge and regroup, such as daily exercise, a weekly date night and vacation. You will not only have something to look forward to, but by reserving personal time you will have extra motivation to manage your time well so you do not have to cancel on others -- or yourself."
Yes, But You Don't Have to Take a Formal Vacation
"I think you don't have to resort to an outright vacation to feel better. From my experience, when I get back to work, I have to play a massive amount of catchup and end up being more stressed. Daily meditating and taking walks in the early morning or after work (electronics-free) have provided me a way to really relax and focus on myself."
Yes, Take One Major Annual Trip
"Taking a break allows you to start again fresh and energized. I try to take one major trip each year, usually in December for two weeks, so I can start the new year in good shape. I also aim to take a three-day weekend every two months."
Yes, Create Time for Yourself
"Each week I try to pick two days where I operate on "normal" hours. That means in my desk at 9 a.m. and out the door by 6 p.m. with no work after-hours! Having this time allows my mind to free itself up for other passions, thoughts or learning. Ironically, my business ends up with more great ideas that I stumble upon during these sanctuary hours off than I do pulling late nights at the office."
Yes, Schedule Time Off
"Time off from your business expands your creativity and reflection. However, as time off doesn't have a direct ROI or line item on your P&L, it can seem fluffy and for the lazy. In order to retrain your thinking, schedule in your time away the same way you show it on your calendar as a conference or other important off-site engagement."
Yes, Start With Weekends
"Time away from the business helps rejuvenate and refresh the mind and spirit. How much and how often varies from person to person. Start by just committing to finally taking the weekends off. From there, you might schedule a long weekend and then a full week of vacation — completely apart from the business. If you haven't done it before, I dare you to try it in 2015. Just plan accordingly."
Yes, to Expand Creativity
"I am just as guilty as the next entrepreneur of pushing too hard and not being able to schedule time off. But the fact is some of my best ideas and best insights have come while completely away from the office. One of my best business ideas came while floating in a relaxation pool at a spa and letting my mind wander. It is important to get away. A change of scenery can do wonders for creativity."
Yes, to Avoid Burnout
"Working around the clock is glorified in our society. Although this can bring great results in the short term, it’s unsustainable. Every entrepreneur should take time off regularly. During the first few years of the business, make sure you recharge every weekend and take a week off every couple of months. It’s much easier said than done, but it is beneficial for entrepreneurs and their businesses."
No, Learn to Balance Family and Business
"In short, no. I love what I do and I have fun at what I do. But I incorporate work into my life. In other words, I'm always thinking about my business and my foundations, even if I'm not in the office. There's nothing wrong with that. Moments with family or business colleagues are just that; moments. I can fit about 50 moments in a day, and I usually do -- both with family and business."