Eight Ways Small Business Owners Can Take A Moment To Recharge
Young Entrepreneur Council, forbes.com
As a small business owner, you are the captain, someone ultimately responsible for nearly everything about your company. This means that as the chaos of everyday operations begin to get overwhelming, it can be difficult to find the time you need to step away and recharge your batteries.
Staying mentally fresh is vital: You want to make the best possible decisions for your company, and fatigue and stress can hinder your abilities. Below, eight members of YEC Next discuss some of the ways small business owners can recharge when they can’t afford the time to step away for a vacation. Here’s what they had to say:
Members share a few ways small business owners can recharge when vacations aren't an option.Photos courtesy of individual members.
1. Take A Day For Solitude
It is of huge value to try to find a place of solitude away from the city and connectivity, at least for a while. In Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, they tout the importance of rest to avoid burnout, and why a walk in nature is ideal. Esteemed philosopher Henry David Thoreau said: “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow." It might be a campground nearby (there are typically small ones even near large cities). At a minimum, you can find a park where you can escape for a day. Personally, I have friends who live on a nearby farm. I often escape for a few days there. Their painfully slow or nonexistent internet connection can be a blessing, as it forces me to step away from work. Bottom line is you need to get creative with your rest. - Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.
2. Unplug To Recharge
In today's professional world, being plugged in to stay in the game can take its toll on your health. High stress levels may trigger anxiety, fatigue, memory loss and head fog. Your doctor may recommend a vacation. However, many business owners simply can't afford to take time off. The solution: Miracle Mornings, developed by Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). This minor tweak in your daily routine can be life-changing. Go to sleep and wake up one to two hours earlier than usual, and follow the S.A.V.E.R.S method in this order: Silence — meditate. Affirmations — speak and listen to positive affirmations. Visualizations — daydream about your future and your ideal self. Exercise — just do it. Read — invest in something educational. Scribe — write a gratitude journal or a to-do list. You'll thank yourself. - Turath D'hont, San Diego Moving Company
3. Opt For Mandated Weekly Downtime
I know business owners who don't ever vacation, which is not healthy. You truly need to turn it all off for an extended period of time to refresh the brain. But for those who don't vacation, they should mandate a set amount of downtime weekly in order to recharge. I do this religiously every Wednesday evening, unless I am traveling on business. My thing is either a hike in the woods, a three-hour motorcycle ride, or just a long drive with music. This downtime — typically five-six hours every Wednesday (sometimes well into the evening) — is part of my weekly time management. Without downtime, success is difficult to achieve. People who say they can't create downtime simply don't know how to properly manage their time. - Ron Lieback, ContentMender
4. Practice Meditation And Yoga
To start with, make sure you are eating and sleeping right, because that has an impact on how charged you feel. Then take out time in your weekly routine to do things that make you happy, such as, for instance, eating good food, going to a concert, working out or reading. The main obstacle, in my experience, is an inability to stop thinking about work, which means that even breaks don't offer much of a recharge. This is where mindfulness and meditation come in. Learn to disconnect your mind, be mindful, and make the most of the valuable time you can take off. - Shan Rizvi, Just Ads
5. Try A Hotel 'StayDaytion'
When building a startup your time is not your own. The possibility of going away for multiple days at a time is sometimes difficult. I have found that checking into a local hotel and shutting off my phone for 24-48 hours can give me enough of a respite until I can take that longer much-needed vacation. - Jilea Hemmings, Best Tyme
6. Build Small Breaks Into Your Day-to-Day
Build small breaks or personal time into your day-to-day schedule. Whether that means working out at lunch or walking to work while listening to an audiobook, make sure you can find ways to unplug (even for just 20 minutes) to give yourself a small break. If you do this every day, it will help you keep your sanity. - Jim Huffman, Growthhit
7. Go For A Drive And Explore New Areas
One of the ways I recharge to allow for a mental break from work is by taking a drive and exploring different areas around the state. I got a pass that allows me to visit the different state parks. This helps clear my mind and allows for new insights or creativity when I get back to work. I schedule these day visits during the week to avoid the big crowds and traffic. These day visits can be a few hours to most of the day, where I consciously allow and give permission to myself to take a break. Sometimes these day visits can be spur of the moment when I find I'm not productive, or scheduled for once or twice a month. These mini-breaks from work allow me to replenish my mind and body without having to go on an extended vacation. - Miye Fonseca, Therapy Exam Prep
8. Take 'Minivacations' Instead
As a small business owner, it can be hard to get away on a much-needed vacation, especially if you’ve just launched your start-up. If you’re much too busy to afford to take the time to step away for a vacation, you still need to find a way to recharge. Take a “mini-vacation” instead. Head to a cottage or cabin on the lake or in an area near you that is affordable, low key and quiet. This means you’re able to slip in and out of Wi-Fi accessible areas and also enjoy a bit of time away from your usual routine. If this isn’t possible, make sure you’re taking periodic breaks — a long lunch is a great way to treat yourself. You can also make sure you’re still doing things you enjoy, like going bike riding, hitting the spa or just reading a book with a cup of coffee. - Bryan Driscoll, Think Big Marketing, LLC