In this week’s vlog, I discuss taking time off to have healthier relationships with your loved ones.
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Hello and welcome to the weekly vlog!
There is no recording going outside for me today because there it’s pouring rain out there. Oh well… This week, I was inspired by a post I saw on LinkedIn. It was by Arlene Dickinson of the CBC Dragon’s Den. (For our American friends, Dragon’s Den is the Canadian “Shark Tank”).
Anyway Arlene’s post read:
One of the pitchers who came into the Den this season had a line I won’t forget.
When speaking about having family support she said she had managed to “entrepreneur herself out of a marriage”. It can happen – as many of us know. We spend our time and emotional energy on the business and sometimes forget our loved ones.
And she adds: “Worth a thought of the day for everyone working hard to build a biz. Don’t forget to work hard on your relationships too.”
One person commented that this was a common disease ailing all entrepreneurs. He called it “entrepreneur-itis”.
What a great way to describe it; as a disease. It’s a condition that makes us think everything revolves around our business. And it absolutely affects relationships because we never seem to be able to TAKE TIME OFF. Especially to turn off our mind.
Arlene’s post struck a chord with people.
But how do you find the time to work on your relationships when you’re an entrepreneur?
It’s a constant battle, isn’t it?
That’s why I thought we should devote today’s vlog to: curing entrepreneur-it is, or at least treating it so it doesn’t take over your life.
The first step in this treatment, I’ve learned, is carving out quality time AWAY from your business. Time for yourself, and with your loved ones.
And that means taking vacation. Are you ready?
OK, first, a bit of background. Because I think it’s better when we ground advice with research .
Let’s look at research about how employees look at work and leisure (or time with family and loved ones). Now I know a lot of business owners don’t think of themselves as “employees,” but hear me out here.
Harvard Business Review recently reported on a study comparing European employees with their North American counterparts. You know Europeans are much better at taking vacation time than we are here in North America. Many of my husband’s German relatives take an average of 6 to 8 weeks off a year! They look at us and the way we work here and think we’re insane.
Anyway here is what this Harvard study found:
First, it didn’t find that vacation significantly reduced overall stress levels. Because people experienced a lot of stress to get ready for a vacation and then to catch up.
But what the study did find was that “more vacation time helps employees better understand the importance of results and getting as much done as possible.”
That is: employees who take more vacation get more done, faster!
In other words, they are more PRODUCTIVE.
But there’s more: workers who take vacation time report…
Feeling happier and having more fulfilling relationships!
So taking vacation time makes you more productive, and helps you have better relationships! Why would we not want more of that??
Well I know why. It’s because it’s hard. It’s a bit like losing weight and being fit. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
OK, so how about some tips to help you get more time away?
First I think we need to convince ourselves that taking time away is actually the sane thing to do.
It’s amazing how people pay lip service to taking breaks, but they don’t do it themselves. It applies to others, not to us. Until you realize that entrepreneurs who do take vacations are seen as the successful ones. Have you ever noticed that we spend thousands of dollars to learn the secrets of that business tycoon or that successful start-up entrepreneur.
We all want to do what the successful people do. And successful entrepreneurs aren’t the ones killing themselves at work. Those are the struggling entrepreneurs. If you’re going to “fake it till you make it” in one area, make it by taking a vacation.
Secondly, the research tells us that taking a vacation makes workers more discerning about what needs their attention – they are better at prioritizing. So why not carve out your vacation time more evenly through the year, so you can be more productive throughout the year?
Instead of taking your vacation in a big chunk that is giving you anxiety just by thinking about it, break it down into smaller periods.
Like one week away per quarter. And if that’s freaking you out, start with one LONG weekend per quarter.
So now you can have 4 productivity sprints per year and time with your loved ones.
The third and last tip is about accountability. Tell people about your plans. So you can’t get out of them.
For those of you who are really in need of vacation time, telling your partner and your kids will make sure you can’t back out. Put money down on the vacation so that you can’t cancel or if you do you’ll lose your money. Entrepreneurs hate to lose money, right?
Taking time off does get better with practice, I promise.
Right now Heinz and I are working on a two week vacation when we are going to be on a cruise and completely OFF THE GRID for two weeks!
And if I can do it, so can you…
There is SO MUCH MORE material I could have covered about combating “entrepreneur-it is,” but I will leave some for next week.
Also this whole mindset around feeling like we can’t get away or we can’t shut our brains off is a TRAP for entrepreneurs…
One which we will be covering in a lot more depth in our upcoming free webinar on “The Love-Business Trap” on June 13. You can sign up to get details by clicking the button below.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about taking time off; leave a comment!
And if you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share.
Thanks for watching. Have a fabulous week ahead!
Yours for love and business,