I’ve blogged here before about the importance of down time as a business owner, particularly a small, one person business owner like myself. While I will always encourage you to take those vacations, sometimes it just isn’t possible. For those of you who aren’t jumping for joy over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and the summer season that follows because you don’t feel you can take a vacation, take heart, I have some suggestions as to how you can make the most of your summer without a traditional vacation.
- Attend a conference somewhere relaxing. Mix a bit of business with pleasure by attending a conference that will benefit your business while also allowing you some much needed relaxation during down time. You will get the benefit of strengthening your business and calming your nerves at the same time.
- Observe those holidays. Take the Memorial Day weekend, take Monday and Tuesday to celebrate the 4th of July and give yourself a break on Labor Day weekend. Trust me, your clients expect you to, so it’s just you being the big, bad, boss by not taking a break on the holidays. By this way, this goes for all the holidays, all year round too.
- Take a long lunch at least once a week. Take a few hours at lunch time and take a dip in the pool, sit on a beach somewhere or have an iced coffee and light lunch at that outdoor café with your friends. You’ll come back to your office refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.
- Take a couple of days off for special days. If your birthday, anniversary or other special date falls over the summer, consider taking it off and doing something for yourself.
- Implement special summer hours one day a week. Let your clients know you’re in office later on Mondays or out earlier on Fridays during the summer. This effectively lengthens your weekend just a little without being unavailable an entire day. You’d be surprised how just that half day can make a huge difference when it comes to having some quality summer down time.
And don’t feel you can only pick one of these ideas. These ideas work great when combined with one another. For example, I seldom take an actual week or weeks long vacation during the summer time so I always take my holidays, usually schedule two days off for my birthday in August if it falls during the work week and I implement what I call “Summer Fridays” where I only work until noon unless one of my clients notifies me that they will need me in the afternoon. I began doing so because Fridays in the summer time tend to be extremely slow anyway, meaning I was usually just sitting at my computer waiting for 5 o’clock to roll around. Now I can make plans to head for the beach with friends, head to the city for the Friday art walk or just take some time to relax a bit and enjoy the summer. I’ve also found that I have some of my most productive time during the summer months. Maybe it’s because I’m more relaxed, have more down time and am refreshed and motivated with all of those new ideas I thought of sitting on the beach.
Do yourself and your business a favor, even if you can’t take a traditional vacation, choose one or more of the ideas I’ve shared with you and enjoy your summer. You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you’ll feel and how beneficial it will be for your business.