Obviously, working long hours does not necessarily mean getting more done. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Germany works the least amount of hours of OED countries, an average of 1,363 hours a year, compared to the United States with an average 1,788 per year. In fact, six of the world's 10 most competitive countries – Sweden, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom – have bans on working more than 48 hours a week. So why do you have so much issue with stepping away from your business during the summer to take a break?
According to research, most managers recognize that giving employees time off from work means more productivity, stronger workplace morale, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits. But when small-business owners want to take time off from work, only 25 percent of them are able to do so, according to a new survey released by Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. Even if they do, nearly three-quarters of them worry about the work and responsibilities they are missing during their time off.
If a long vacation isn’t in the stars for you this summer, you can still get much-needed breaks by making a few simple changes to your entrepreneurial life, such as…
- Pull out those running shoes. Richard Branson still finds time to exercise every day, and he’s no slacker. Sitting at your computer all day is bad for your health and bad for your business. When you exercise, you release adrenaline, which not only heightens the body's senses, but can also open the airways for better breathing and redirect blood flow to vital organs. Chemicals in your body work to fight off stress and depression when you exercise. Don’t think of exercise as time you should spend working. Take a walk or run in a nearby park. Download fitness apps so you can set some goals. Make exercise a priority and see how much your productivity increases.
- Get some one-on-one time. Even meeting a friend for lunch means getting out of the office and taking a break. It’s okay to talk about work if that’s what you have in common, and you might even want to talk about some business ideas you’ve been mulling over. Just getting out of the office can boost your spirits and your productivity. Plus, your body needs fuel (food) to keep going.
- Stop overscheduling work and schedule in a break. Do you live by your calendar? Most entrepreneurs have their own system or favorite app to keep track of everything that needs to get done. Be realistic about how long certain tasks take and don’t overschedule yourself. Think of breaks as a very important meeting (with yourself). You wouldn’t skip a business meeting, so don’t cut yourself short by skipping your break. For more inspiration, read "Is Vacation Good or Bad for Your Small Business? An Expert Weighs In."
- Loosen your load. Eventually every small-business owner realizes they need help. If you’re not quite ready to hire a full-time employee, you can always outsource some projects. Make a list of all your work tasks and what takes up most of your day. Even giving away the smallest duties will add some precious minutes to your day and make taking breaks possible.
For more tips, check out "4 Twitter Accounts to Follow So Your Vacation Becomes a Reality."
About Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website SmallBizDaily.com to get the scoop on business trends and to sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.