How to Take a Mini-Vacation from Your Home Business
8 Tips for Great Weekend Getaways for Home Business Owners
If you operate a small home business, especially a one-person operation, you're probably all too aware that it's not easy to take a day off, let alone schedule an extended vacation. In fact, you may have been using some of these excuses to avoid taking time off:
- You're not getting paid when you're not working so a long vacation would cause a financial setback.
- You might lose business to your competitors while you're away.
- You're just too busy to be away more than a few days at a time.
- There's no one to fill in for you in your absence.
But all of the most successful entrepreneurs include breaks and vacations in their lives.
Why You Need to Take a Break from Your Home Business
While you may worry that you'll lose out if you take off from your home business, you'll risk having some serious problems if you don't spend time away. Here's some benefits from taking time off from your home business:
1. Work/life balance: Odds are, one of the reasons you started a home business was to have more time for your family or to pursue personal interests. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs get so caught up in their business, or worry that things will fall apart if they take a break, they don't enjoy the fruits of their labor. But taking time off is crucial to good health and mental well-being.
2. Avoid burnout: Even if you love your home business, spending all your time working can lead to burnout, which can impact your productivity, creativity, and eventually profits.
3. Boost energy: Your body and mind both need time to rest and regenerate, otherwise you'll run yourself ragged.
4. Increase productivity and creativity: Rest and relaxation give your mind an body a chance to rest (#3) which then gives them the energy to problem solve, innovate, focus, and be creative.
5. Reduce stress: Many entrepreneurs don't take a break because they feel time away will increase their stress as they worry about not making money. However, all work and no play can create overwhelm and burnout which lead to stress.
8 Tips for Great Weekend Getaways
If you feel taking a long vacation is out of the question, you can reap the benefits of taking time off with a short weekend getaway. Here are tips on how to do that.
1. Plan Ahead
Planning your getaway in advance offers many benefits including:
- Organize a trip that does what it's designed to do; provide rest and relaxation to re-energize your body and mind.
- Ability to get better deals on travel and lodging.
- Chance to schedule your time in advance so you can get caught up or ahead before you leave.
- Prepare your clients for your absence, if necessary.
- Arrange back up if needed.
2. Quit a Little Early the Day Before
You're planning a weekend getaway, but there's no rule that says it has to start at 5 pm on Friday. You're proactively planning anyway, and you're the boss of your home business, so arrange to start your time off a few hours earlier.
Quitting early the day before your weekend getaway gives you more time pack, prepare, and travel for your trip.
3. Give Yourself Time to Get to Your Destination
For short vacations, it's best to stick with destinations you can reach in a few hours or less. You don't want to spend most of your time traveling, since that can be as stressful as work. Give yourself time to avoid rush hour or other things that can increase travel time.
By giving yourself a little extra time, you'll find that your weekend getaways are more enjoyable.Your departure experiences can set the tone for your entire trip - don't spoil the mood before your weekend getaways even get started.
4. Don't Discuss Business or Work
The conversation is likely to go toward your business from time - that's pretty much unavoidable whether you work for yourself or for someone else. But don't waste your entire weekend getaway blabbing about how you want to change your website, or how you should have landed that account, or how you're going to rethink your marketing and sales strategies. This time is meant to be a break from all that. You took the weekend getaway because you needed a break - now enjoy it!
If the respite from work sparks your creativity and business ideas, jot them down in a notebook so you don't forget, then refocus on having fun.
5. Pamper Yourself
While mini-vacations are designed for fun, they're also ideal for practicing self-care. Taking care of yourself isn't selfish or make you weak. It's a requirement for happy, healthy life. In Thrive, Arianna Huffington wrote about how she collapsed from exhaustion because she failed to take care of herself. Self-care can come in many forms including a nature hike, spa day, or sleeping in. Whatever feels indulgent to you, you should do on your time away.
6. Be Adventurous
At home, many people do the same activities and eat at the same restaurants. On your weekend away, push yourself to do things outside of your norm. Engage in activities you don't normally do. Eat at restaurants you might normally go to. Especially if you're with your significant other and family, trying new things can be a fun adventure that brings you all closer together.
7. Be Flexible
While you've planned your trip, don't feel you have to stick with it. Your goal is to have fun. If something more fun presents itself or your plan isn't as fun as you thought it would be, change it on the fly. If your spouse suggests you stop at an interesting antiques store on your way to a show, or your kids want to stop to see something and you have the time, by all means do it. You're bound to discover things you hadn't planned on and you may have more fun during your weekend getaway than you expected.
Whenever possible, everyone present should have at least one special request fulfilled during your weekday or weekend getaway because it goes a long way toward promoting harmony and boosts the satisfaction of all who are on the trip.
8. Enjoy the Trip Home
The trip home can become depressing or seem like a let down as you leave your weekend fun to head back to life as usual. The trip home can be a great time to extend your time by taking the scenic route. Or use the time to talk with the family about all the fun they had. Perhaps you can start planning your next adventure.
When you arrive home, continue the weekend away by not checking your messages or email. The work will be there tomorrow, so instead, savor the final hours of your getaway while you can.
Updated December 2017 Leslie Truex