If you read our second last blog post, you’ll have seen me talking about keeping your pedal to the metal in the lead up to Christmas and doing what you can to lay the foundations for more business early in 2017.

So today’s topic, planning for a break, might come as rather a bit of a surprise. As I write this there’s just a little less than a week to go. Now, if you run a business, chances are, the thought of getting everything you’ve got to do done before you take a day or two off, made you start to hyperventilate.

And that’s exactly why we need to talk about taking a proper break. When business owners run flat-out for too long, we tend to run the risk of burnout.

 

What’s burn-out?

It’s different for everyone.

  • But it often starts with a level of exhaustion – you know, the kind you can’t really kick with a couple of good nights’ sleep.
  • It can also show up as a lack of concentration. That can manifest as finding it hard to be productive, unable to focus, losing the thread of conversations you’re having or starting to forget important stuff.
  •  You might also find that you’re drinking more alcohol in an effort to relax (or take your mind off your worries), drinking more coffee to perk yourself up or using other stimulants (food, sugary snacks or drugs).
  •  And if you really don’t pay attention to all of that, things within the business can start to go wrong. You over or undercharge, things slip through cracks, you miss deadlines, etc.

So, before you get to that point (or before it gets any worse if you’re already heading in that general direction), it’s time to schedule a real break – of at least a week, preferably two. And Christmas is the perfect time.

Now before you say you can’t do that – you’ve got a business to run, if you don’t look after yourself now, you’ll probably need well more than that in the future and it will be a whole lot less fun.

How to start

Open your diary – and cross out the days between December 23 and January 3. All up it’s really only a couple of working days (unless you’re in retail) that you’ll miss and you can absolutely make up for that in the raft of hours you’ll no doubt work in 2017.

Make arrangements with clients to finish any work you’d normally do in that period, in advance or upon your return. Hire a bit of extra help if you need it – but chances are you won’t. You’ll be so refreshed, you’ll power through whatever’s on your plate, when you get back.

If that’s not possible, see if you can make arrangements with someone else (even a friendly competitor) to take on that work for those days and you can swap with them at a later date.

Don’t be one of the 60% of Aussie small business owners, who according to research, haven’t had a break in more than a year.

Whilst you’re away, turn on your ‘out of office’ email. And let all your calls (except from friends and family) go to voicemail. If you’ve let people know you’re on leave, they generally won’t expect to hear from you until your return date. Of course if it’s horribly urgent, they’ll call more than once, SMS you and generally hunt you down. In which case, okay – it really is urgent and they’ll appreciate your help (and your out of hours/emergency fees that go with).

The caveat to that is, that client who demanded a super urgent proposal 8 months ago and never returned your follow up calls that’s now demanding stuff be done between Christmas and New Year. You might want to think about passing on it. They’ll still be there if you really want to get back to them on your return to the office.

Seriously, for the next couple of minutes, think about how you can best take advantage of this holiday period to rest and recharge so that you can start your 2017 in the best headspace possible.

Of course if you want to make sure you’re starting 2017 with your business in the best possible financial shape, we’d love to talk to you about how you can achieve that. You can call us on 6023 1700 or get in touch via the form below.

Got a question? Get in touch

If you've got financial or business questions, or you just want to run something by us, we'd be delighted to really talk to you – in person, over the phone - call us on 02 6023 1700 - or you can use the form below and we'll get back to you.

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About us:

Lloyd Accounting is a boutique accounting firm based in North Albury that operates with the sole purpose of making your tax and business affairs as easy as possible. For us, it's about really understanding what it is you're wanting to achieve and then using our experience and expertise to help facilitate that.

Please note - our new location:

Lloyd Accounting is now located at 932 Waugh Rd, North Albury, NSW.

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