Taking Time Off In A Small Business

stopwatchWhen you are the owner of a small business everything can depend upon you.  Questions, concerns, problems all have to be dealt with and that usually means that you are running around all day every day.  You feel that just taking a moment to yourself might cause everything to fall apart and maybe even end your business.

Weekends, evenings, heck even your sleep can be sacrificed in the effort of creating a successful small business.  It can be quite understandable to believe that your business will fall apart in your absence, usually that’s because it has before and you know it will again.  Working yourself till you die of exhaustion though isn’t going to help you succeed, actually it is quite likely to cause you to fail.  A leader of a group of entrepreneurs in North Carolina had this to say about time off.

Taking time off is as important as food.

That is a very strong statement indeed.  Everyone is well aware of the need for food and comparing time off to food seems a little over the top.  It may take longer for the signs to begin showing but eventually your work schedule will kill you just as effectively as it kills your business.  Just remember your statement from earlier, without you your business is going to fail.  So if you schedule lands you in trouble, its also going to cause your business some problems.

Here are some warning signs to look for in-case you are working yourself to hard.

  • You are making dinner at home and the phone rings.  You answer as if it were your office phone.
  • When at home you dial 9 before making a phone call.
  • All of your speed dials on your phone are work numbers.
  • You cannot remember what your spouse looks like.
  • When driving home you find yourself arriving back at work.
  • You think it would be a really good idea to keep a sleeping bag at work.
  • You begin dreaming about work and when you wake up you realize it wasn’t a dream.

You may think these are funny, and they are.  Look at closely at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if this is you.  If it is, come back for part 2 and we will talk about ways to take a little time for yourself without killing your business.

*Update: Part 2 can be found here.

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