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Giving Yourself a Break and Take a Vacation

My eight-year-old is in year ’round school, so he gets all of April for Spring Break. Yea. A month. I know.

The first few years, I struggled to retain my status as Cool Mom and take him to every museum and theme park in San Diego,  while struggling to get all my business work done. It was hard. But since then, I’ve learned to relax, shift around my schedule, and—gasp—go on vacation.

Why Are We So Hard on Ourselves?

I realized recently that we, or at least I, are our biggest critics as entrepreneurs. We think we have to work harder than we sometimes need to. We’re reluctant to take off an hour or day in case some catastrophe happens. But usually, it doesn’t. That’s why I have a light schedule all of April each year. And guess what? There are never any marketing emergencies when I go on vacation to the beach enjoying family time!

Find the Space  You Need

I know people who never take off. Even when they go on vacation, they’re right there with their laptop.

For me, my light month of work happens because I do a lot of blogging in March to cover what I’d normally be writing in April. It means doubling up on work for a few weeks, but the reward is that I hardly have to do any work this month. It feels a little like cheating!

It’s important to carve out whatever time you can for yourself. But be honest! If taking a week off when things are stressful is only going to riddle you with guilt and have you pull out your hair, it’s not going to be a relaxing vacation. Start by taking off an afternoon to get a massage or run errands when there are fewer crowds. Maybe take off a Friday and spend it with your spouse or family.

When you started your business, you probably envisioned having a flexible schedule and taking more vacations. If you’ve let that goal slip away, it’s time to revisit it. Make it an objective for the rest of the year to find time for yourself. If that means hiring a freelancer or part-timer to free up your schedule, maybe it’s time to make that move.

What many small business owners don’t realize is the benefit that comes for the business when they take time off. When you have that breathing room to get away from your business, you are refreshed and ready to come back to do an even better job!

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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