For any entrepreneur, weekend can be a difficult time to balance work and personal life. It can be hard to find time to relax when there's always something that needs to be done. And, it can be even harder to enjoy weekends and holidays when you're constantly worried about your business.
But it doesn't have to be this way! In fact, with a few smart strategies, you can have all the benefits of being an entrepreneur without sacrificing your personal life. Here's how.
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7 Tips for How Entrepreneurs Can Relax on Weekends and Holidays
Set Realistic Goals
One of the first things you need to do is set realistic goals. This may seem counterintuitive; after all, entrepreneurs are known for setting big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs), right?
But if your goal is to have weekends off and stress-free holidays, then you need to be realistic about what you can achieve in a given timeframe. That means setting smaller goals that you know you can accomplish without burning yourself out.
For example, rather than setting a goal to increase sales by 25% this quarter, set a goal to increase sales by 5%. Or, instead of aiming to launch a new product line by the end of the year, set a goal to have the product development process underway.
Yes, it's important to have big goals, but they need to be achievable goals that you can break down into smaller pieces. Otherwise, you'll never be able to enjoy your weekends or holidays because you'll always be chasing after an impossible dream.
When you are juggling multiple commitments, it is important to prioritize your time. Make sure to schedule in time for the things that are most important to you, whether that is family time, friends, or hobbies. And, don't be afraid to say no to things that aren't a priority. This is one of the most important lessons for any business owner to learn.
There will always be more work to be done and more people who want your time. But if you don't focus on your priorities, you'll never have any time for yourself. So make sure to set priorities and stick to them.
Schedule Your Work Time
One of the keys to having stress-free weekends and holidays is to schedule your work time in advance. This does not only reduce your stress levels, it can also boost your productivity and success.
One way to do this is to create a daily or weekly schedule. This schedule should include specific blocks of time for each task that you need to complete.
For example, you might block off two hours for project work, two hours for research, two hours for meeting prep, and another two hours for administrative tasks. By breaking your work down into smaller chunks, you can make sure that you are making progress on all fronts.
Take Real Breaks Regularly
As an entrepreneur, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and grind of running your own business. You're always on the go, always working on something, and always thinking about ways to grow your company.
But while it's important to be driven and ambitious, science tells us we all need a break, so who are we to argue?
Here are some of the benefits of taking a break from work that studies have confirmed:
Your body gets to rest and recover. You need that recovery time in order to stay at the top of your game.
Your brain processes and embeds new information when you give it the chance to relax.
Relaxation and daydreaming helps your brain to be more productive and creative.
Vacation improves your mood. Imagine how that can impact your dealings with clients or team members!
Stepping away helps to change your perspective. This can be very useful for broadening your views and helping you to think of new solutions.
So, if you're feeling like you're running on empty, make sure to take a break--and we mean a real break--for your well being. This can help you to come back to your business with fresh energy and new ideas.
Taking regular breaks can also be a good opportunity to connect with a friend, go on a date, communicate with loved ones, or join a health or social club. They can also help you to keep up with an important event, such as birthday or anniversary.
Don't worry; it doesn't have to be a two-week break--even a long weekend or a day off can make a world of difference. Remember: your business will still be there when you return.
Outsource and Delegate
Another important tip for being an entrepreneur with a good work life balance is learning to outsource and delegate tasks.
This can be difficult for many entrepreneurs, as they often feel like they need to do everything themselves in order to be successful. But the truth is, outsourcing and delegations are essential skills for any entrepreneur.
The key is to delegate tasks that don't require your personal attention or expertise. Not only will it free up your time so that you can focus on other aspects that really matter, but it will also help you reduce stress levels and enjoy your weekends and holidays more.
For instance, this may mean hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to handle tasks, help with social media, or manage customer service.
A virtual assistant is a professional who provides administrative, creative, or technical services to clients remotely. They generally have a wide range of skills and experience, making them well-suited to handling a variety of tasks.
Some of the tasks that you may delegate to a virtual assistant include:
- scheduling appointments
- managing email inboxes
- handling customer services
- conducting research
- writing articles
- preparing reports
- maintaining websites
With the rise of the internet and online communication tools, more businesses are turning to virtual assistants to help them stay organized and connected!
“A VA is vital. Life is busy enough. I’d encourage any woman with a dream to get a VA to support her in making that dream a reality. This is what my VA does for me. I am living my dreams.” — Donna Wild
“I’m international so I have family all over the world and I travel a lot for work as well. And so one of the things that’s been super helpful for me is enabling me to do that and still have my business run in the background. So previously, everything would stop if I was, you know, not at my computer doing whatever it is I needed to be doing. Whereas now, that my VA has taken on all of those processes, and I can be on the other side of the world teaching a workshop or whatever it is, and she’s still making things tick over as if I’m still there. So, that is hugely hugely liberating.” — Elle Kealy
Systemize the Business
As your business grows, it is important to systemize your processes, so that it can run smoothly without your constant supervision. This means creating checklists, documenting procedures, and automating tasks whenever possible.
By setting up systems, you can make sure that your business is running like a well-oiled machine. This will free up your time so that you can take breaks without worrying about the business falling apart in your absence.
Systems also keep everyone in the loop and accountable. They reduce time spent on back-and-forth communication and provide your members with clarity and resources. They also give you time to do whatever else you’d like, including taking a holiday!
Here's what Maria Golding, The Virtual Hub client, can say about systemizing:
“Now I feel more organised. The systems The Virtual Hub uses has helped me understand what is required as a business owner, and how to function to get the best results. Having these systems in place has given me so much more confidence.
"I feel more motivated to get up each day and ‘do the work’. Having my own personal VA means I’m accountable to her, and we get to share in the problem solving and excitement of the business together. It feels less lonely and I’m sure I work harder because of now having a ‘team’.”
Another vital part of learning how to be an entrepreneur who takes weekends off and plans holidays is to manage expectations. Many entrepreneurs who find themselves unable to take time off have set themselves up to be that way.
They’ve trained clients to always come to them or inserted themselves in every part of the process in their business, so that members are always coming to them too.
Let’s say your clients are used to dealing with you personally--make sure you transition them to another first point of contact early on or at least give them notice that you’re going to be unavailable.
Within your team, it’s about having those processes that take you out of the equation and being firm about them being stuck to unless there is an emergency.
Here's what Karen Rudkin-Moody, The Virtual Hub client and Co-Founder of Ryan Moody Fishing and Hooked on Hinchenbrook Charters, has to say about managing expectations:
“So fantastic not to have to answer any support emails and know that they are being handled courteously and professionally. Plus all the little glitches in the website are taken care of - huge time waster for me now taken off my hands. Jeffrey is already an amazing asset to our business and I'm not sure how I coped without him.”
— Karen Rudkin-Moody, Co-Founder, Ryan Moody Fishing and Hooked on Hinchenbrook Charters (The Virtual Hub client).
What is entrepreneurship if it ties you to endless work?
Most of us did not start a business only to end up working a job, yet many entrepreneurs struggle to get weekends off, or a decent holiday.
We need downtime for the sake of our physical and mental well being, and our overall ability to perform well in our businesses. You can’t keep running on empty and expect things to go well. You won’t quash your entrepreneurial spirit if you take a day’s break or two.
Fortunately, it is entirely possible to know how to be an entrepreneur who can step away and take a much-needed break.
Our clients at The Virtual Hub are doing so, and are setting themselves up by having good systems in place while managing expectations with clients and members!