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  • Colleen Watson

Working Vacation: The Importance of Time Off as A Business Owner

It had to happen, eventually. Yes, I, a homebody extraordinaire, went on vacation. Like most of us, it was to go visit family, specifically so my mom and I could meet my sister's new granddaughter. How it went is a whole other topic of conversation, one I won’t engage in here. However, I still have projects I need to keep working on. How to balance the need to relax and take a real break with the need to remain connected to your top work priorities? I struggled with that and came up with a plan to do just that. How did I do? You decide.

The Initial Plan

As you know, I’ve been working on my first big presentation for Denver Startup Week as well as my first lead magnet video. I have stuff I must do to stay on track for those. I also feel the need for a real rest and to connect with family, so I am giving myself the plane rides. I’ll work on my projects until we land in Phoenix and I’ll resume once we pass security on the way home. In-between, I’ll let it lay.

I also want to use this time to get back into reading. I brought along three books; two business books and one fun historical mystery and I'm hoping to starting digging into both of them. I've started all of them, but got behind on my goal to get them finished by the end of this month. I'm hoping to get ahead again.

How It Actually Went

The letting go, that proved easy. The starting and restarting working on the plane rides? Not so much. In fact, it took me until the evening of the day after we got back to even get started on things again. Yep, I finished up on this blog post at that time and got fully back on the horse the next day. I needed more of a mental break than I thought, and I took it. Then I dug in, rested and focused, to make up for lost time.

As for reading, that went really well. My mornings were quiet and I had the space to concentrate. I didn’t read as much as I’d have liked, but more than I feared. I slept pretty well and while relaxing wasn’t exactly in the cards, it was less stressful than I feared. I got about a third of all three books I took with me to read. I’ll take it!

When all is said and done, I’m glad I went. I needed a change of scenery and a mental break. It can be hard to allow yourself as a small business owner. Everything falls on you. Everything feels crucial. It feels irresponsible to up and leave with all that stuff to do. And you can't help but wonder how you’ll ever manage to relax. Then anxiety hits as your wondering shifts to how you’ll ever catch up once you get back. I get it. Hell, I felt it. But I now understand, it’s also crucial. For your mental as well as the health of your business. Go in with a plan, don’t expect to follow through but try your best. With that, all I can say is, happy travels.

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