Many people assume that choosing your days off, leaving work early, and having holidays whenever you want is one of the perks of running your own business.
But in reality, many small business owners struggle to have regular days off – and holidays are just a distant dream, especially in the first few years.
Regardless of how hard you are willing to hustle, ditching your downtime is never a good idea.
In the long run, you and your business will suffer if you don’t take time to refresh, recharge, and relax.
If you find yourself struggling to squeeze in some days off, it’s time to get better at prioritising! Here’s how to get started:
Invest Your Time Wisely
We often talk about time management, which focuses on getting things done faster. This is a great start, but the next level of prioritisation is time investment. This involves looking at the tasks you do every day and instead of asking yourself if you can do them faster, ask yourself if you should be doing them at all!
Try tracking your time every day through the week, listing every task you complete, no matter how small. Now, scan through this list and identify all the unnecessary jobs and those that could have been automated, delegated or outsourced. After reviewing a week’s worth of tasks, you will likely find dozens that can be taken off your hands or completed in a different way, freeing up more time.
Put It In Writing
If you don’t have an in-depth plan for how you are going to spend your time, it’s easy to be reactive instead of proactive. You will bounce around from task to task, scattering your energy and make yourself busy but fail to get ahead.
The key to being organised is writing things down on your calendar – including your weekends. Make your days off inflexible, and then come up with a daily and weekly plan that helps you get through your work methodically and efficiently.
Focus On Your Most Important Tasks (MITs)
The MIT method is a simple but effective way of prioritising your tasks. Go through your daily to-do list and pick two or three of the most important jobs to get done that day.
Devote your time only to those tasks until they are done. Then you can move onto the other tasks. If you do this every day, by the time your weekends roll around, you shouldn’t have any big, daunting tasks talking you out of your time off. Anything that’s left can wait until next week.
Look At The Big Picture
It can be easy to get caught up in our work and assume everything will fall apart if we let go for a few days – or weeks. But this is seldom the truth. Regular time off is unlikely to buckle your business (if you plan and prioritise well), but getting sick or burning out due to overwork will be far more damaging.
Looking after yourself should be your top priority. You would expect time off if you worked for someone else, so ensure you give yourself the same courtesy and make it happen.
If you are a solo business owner, you will need to give your clients plenty of notice, advising them of the dates you will be unavailable.
Things don’t have to stop completely, even if you are a solopreneur. You can plan ahead and automate your social media posts, marketing, and other core tasks, so things don’t grind to a halt while you are relaxing on a beach.
Taking time off is much easier when you can delegate. If you have a team, delegate your most important tasks to them. If you’re unsure what tasks you can delegate, try using our helpful worksheet.
This is an excellent opportunity to upskill your staff so they can take on more responsibility, freeing you up to deal with the bigger picture jobs to grow your business – and enjoy your weekends!
Get Better At Prioritising By Outsourcing
Going it alone in business or don’t have the right people in your team to delegate to? Don’t stress! You can still have that holiday on the beach (or on the couch) that you deserve. Outsourcing is an excellent way to take some of the weight of the world off your shoulders.
The beauty of outsourcing is that you have someone on your side that knows your business and can help you out whenever you need. Outsourcing your admin tasks gives you more time to focus on the big jobs and frees up precious hours and days so you can have that much-needed downtime.
And even better – your outsourced team members can more than likely step up and offer extra support when you need a more extended break.
Taking time off might feel daunting, but with the right support and preparation, it’s not only doable, it’s vital. Your business will benefit when you are rested and refreshed. Admin Army can offer you the help you need to manage your time and prioritise your health and wellbeing. Contact us today to find out more.