Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and ready to break? Is building your business sucking your soul away? Are people brushing off your exhaustion and saying that it’s all a part of the game? I am here to tell you that you have the right to a proper and healthy work-life balance.
As a business owner, I understand how daunting it can be to build and operate a business, especially when just getting started. It can lead to burning the candle at both ends with no hope for reprieve. BUT, it doesn't have to be that way! Read on to learn the dangers of burning out, the importance of taking time off, and how you can successfully plan a vacation.
The Dangers of Burning Out
You have likely heard of the phrase “burnout” in the workplace. It is a specific type of work-related stress often caused by physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that stems from long work hours and a lack of work-life balance. Obviously, "burnout" isn't a pretty term, but what it leads to is even less lovely. Mayo Clinic reports that unaddressed burnout can lead to:
Sadness, anger, or irritability
Alcohol or substance misuse
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Vulnerability to illnesses
In addition, Ohio State University released an article that reported people who experience chronic burnout:
"Have a 26% 35% higher risk of early mortality (mortality under the age of 45) and pain problems"
"Are three times more likely to have increased risk of experiencing future depression and coronary heart disease"
"Have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 200 percent.”
YIKES! I think I can speak for just about everyone when I say that is not something anyone wants to experience.
Fortunately, there are various methods to prevent burnout, such as getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, being mindful, seeking support, and my favorite, taking time off.
The Important of Taking Time Off
Taking time off is critical because it allows you to disconnect and recharge your mind, body, and spirit. Whether you are simply taking the weekend off or going on a month-long trip, you have the ability to try new things, widen your knowledge, and discover concepts about the world and yourself that you never knew existed before.
Not only will you get to experience some of the greatest joys and adventures in life, but it also allows your brain to process complicated problems on the back burner while you are having fun. Then, when you get back to work, you may realize that the solution to your problem was solved inside your brain, or it may have provided you with a new perspective on how to handle the situation.
Now, you may be thinking…."Julie, there is no way I can step away from my business right now!" Let's unpack that!
How to Plan for Time Off
There will be times when you are developing your business that it will be necessary to invest heavy amounts of your time. It can be unavoidable, but you cannot allow it to go on forever. This is where you must work smarter, not harder, by following these three steps.
Step #1: Follow Your Priorities
American culture embodies a “live to work” attitude rather than a “work to live” methodology. Often, this results in people prioritizing work and career achievements over everything else, including family, health, recreation, and relationships.
I want you to challenge that attitude and identify your true priorities in life, whether that is building a happy family, pursuing travel around the world, or whatever else. Once you can identify and rank your priorities, you will truly be able to build a successful work-life balance.
P.S. I have a Goal Prioritization Workbook that you can use to identify and rank your priorities. Click HERE to get your FREE copy!
Step #2: Plan in Advance
At the beginning of the year, when I am doing my Q1 planning, I take time to look ahead to the entire year. I evaluate my priorities, write a list of all the things I want to do outside of work, and set aside time off.
By planning intentionally, I can create a balanced schedule where I can achieve all of my work and life priorities. For example, suppose I know that I have a 5-day girls' weekend in June. In that case, I will plan my coaching sessions, my mastermind classes, and even small details like my social media planning to revolve around that time off. Hence, there are no conflicts of interest or stress about leaving.
Now I get that not all vacations can be planned out that far in advance, but even a little bit of pre-planning goes a long way.
Step #3: Create Automated Systems & Build a Team
Lastly, creating automated systems and building a reliable team allows you to work smarter, not harder.
When you devise an automated system, it takes away menial tasks that waste your time. For example, by creating a marketing funnel, you simply have to build it once, and then it takes care of the rest of the steps for you, whether you are at work or in Jamaica.
Additionally, when you build a team of reliable people who support your business, whether it is a spouse, a virtual assistant, or a team of employees, these people can help you achieve your business goals even when you are away. Whether they take over your tasks while you are gone or build systems that can handle your absence, a robust support system is worth its weight in gold.
Go Confidently with Your Priorities
It took me a long time to analyze and accept my true priorities in life. I get that it isn't easy to set aside that "work until you drop" attitude. To help you get started, I encourage you to download and complete my FREE Goal Prioritization worksheet. If you are still struggling with going confidently with your priorities, please book a call with me to talk about them. Together we can devise strategies to help you step back from work and build a healthy work-life balance.