We recently offered some solutions on how owner-managers can manage stress because running a business is a tough business.
The entrepreneurs, leaders and owner-managers who embrace our range of programmes and workshops tell us that they are always looking for ways to find equilibrium in their work/life balance.
Whether the festive season is your busiest or quietest time of the year, now is the moment to switch off, kick back and try… try… to relax a little – so you and your teams can come back in 2020 refreshed and ready to win. Here’s how:
| Plan for the break
Just like that never-ending to-do list at work, planning for the break is equally important. Decide as soon as possible how many days you’re going to take off and integrate them into your work and personal calendars. Hopefully, you will have done this already!
Adjust your final-week deadlines, and notify clients and everyone in your organisation when you’ll be away for the holiday season – and don’t deviate from the plan.
If you own or manage a larger SME or a business that has to stay open over Christmas and New Year, then skeleton staff is the answer – but remember that your team need a break, too. Anyone who volunteers to do extra shifts at work (even if they have been promised double time) is also taking on too much. Spread the load around.
| Accept that some things will have to wait
Part of the ‘letting go’ before the big break is recognising that end of year doesn’t mean you have to have everything ticked off. And here’s a secret – everyone else is taking a break, too!
Separate what has to be done; payroll, overdue invoices, fulfilling client orders, and so on, from what can be tackled in 2020. You’ll be surprised at what can wait. This isn’t about putting things off – it’s about being realistic in what you can achieve over the next few days. And if you can get maximum relaxation time away from work, you’ll come back super-efficient and ready for anything.
| Step away from the devices
Can you alter your mindset to understand that rest is a much-underestimated business asset? High-quality sleep in particular helps your brain work faster and more accurately, cements memories and processes, and organises new information 40% more efficiently, according to the US’s National Institute of Health.
An over-dependence on your device is a real sleep killer. Using your device just before bedtime can keep you awake by delaying your internal clock and suppress melatonin – the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle.
Furthermore, only 12% of Kiwis say their partner’s excess smartphone usage doesn’t bother them, according to 2018 research by 2degrees. That’s a lot of disgruntled partners out there. Try to give yourself a 90-minute to one-hour device curfew before bed. And leave your device in another room.
| Do something that matters. Or nothing at all
A lot of leaders, owners and manager are so focused on the job that they’ve forgotten how to relax. The three most popular ways to relax are:
Reading – 41% of people consider it a better way to relax than anything, and 38% reckon it’s their number one stress buster, according to a study by The University of Liverpool. A further 2009 study by the University of Sussex in England found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.
Being around nature – adults who spend more time around nature cope better with mental health issues, have higher self-esteem and also appreciate their bodies more when it comes to diet and fitness. (Cambridge Network, England)
Spending time alone – but in a positive way! Enjoying a bit of solitude now and then gives you a chance to clear your mind and think more strategically and clearly. Just don’t hibernate over the holidays!
And above all, have a fantastic holiday break!
For more business ownership and leadership advice check out more of our blogs.