Your employees shouldn’t be the only ones making holiday vacation plans this year. Have you scheduled a few days—or even more than a week—off for yourself this year? It might be hard to talk yourself into taking time off, and even harder to justify it to yourself when you’re in a leadership role, but you need to grab the calendar (or your phone) and pencil in your getaway—even if it’s just a few days at home completely unplugged from work. You never really get a break otherwise. Too often, nights are spent thinking about work, and early mornings are dedicated to getting a jumpstart on emails.
Even if you classify yourself as a workaholic, you still need to unplug. The key is to communicate and plan in advance. Chances are, a lot of your other clients will be taking a break for the holidays too, so it should be easy to either cancel or avoid scheduling meetings the week before or after Christmas. Utilize software that can automate tasks, like scheduling social media posts and billing clients. Arrange for big presentations or projects to have a deadline either just before the holidays, or a few weeks after. That way, the task will either be off your plate, or the holiday will be a good break and you’ll go back to work refreshed and ready to pick the project up again.
Truly unplugging for a few days—which includes shutting off your phone or ignoring the barrage of emails you’re sure to be receiving—will improve creativity and give you a new perspective. You’re constantly answering emails or taking care of one thing or another even if you’re with your family or at an event, so take this time to break off from technology. Don’t read on your phone unless it’s enjoyable content unrelated to work. Don’t read that blog or newspaper that normally stresses you out. It might seem stressful at first, but after a few days of this pattern, you’ll get used to it and feel more relaxed.
You also need to prevent burnout, which is all too common. So when you take a few days off, seriously take them off. Don’t treat it as another weekend where you need to complete countless errands or cram in a project you’ve been slacking on at the office. It’s a break, which means take a break.
Take the holiday to focus on your friends, family, and children if you have them. Twenty or thirty years from now, you’ll great not spending enough time with them, but you won’t regret taking a vacation or leaving the office an hour earlier a few nights a week.
The thought of a vacation might send you into a wave of panic, but it doesn’t have to. Trust your employees to take care of business in the office. Trust the people you’ve put into leadership roles. The business won’t crumble without you for a few days. Don’t let burnout be the reason you’re forced to take a break. Take some time off this holiday season.
You’ll come back feeling more productive, creative, and efficient. And your business will thank you for it too.