If you’ve spent any time at all working for yourself, you have almost surely come to grips with the fact that a perpetual workday is no way to go. If you don’t take time off—even just evenings and weekends—you’ll burn out before you’ve even begun.
Here are a few suggestions on how us entrepreneurial folk can reclaim our weekends.
- Walk away. Stand up and walk away from your computer. It’s that simple. The more distance you get between yourself and your machine, the harder it will be for you to jump back online “to check on one more thing”. (It takes one to know one.) For me, having office space out of the house is the ideal “walk away” solution.
- Get away. To be honest, I have a hard time taking a break unless I’m completely off the grid. The off-the-grid experience doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be a drive to see family, an overnight camping excursion, or a day trip to the local winery. Maybe it’s just a good book series and a large pot of coffee. Find what it takes to give your brain a real break and do it.
- Put it away. The cell phone, that is. Have you seen these sleeping bags for your iPhone? Not only are they adorable, but I imagine they really work! Who would want to disturb their wee little phone from a peaceful slumber? Stash that phone somewhere, sleeping bag or not, and go play!
- Plan a way. Implementing the above suggestions will be totally worthless if you haven’t planned ahead. If your clients assume you work 24/7, playing hooky isn’t an option. A few tips on that front:
- Protect your time. If you are the team member who establishes timelines, make a point not to count weekend days as work days.
- Track your time. If you have a log of your hours to reference when outlining new work, you’ll be able to estimate more accurately and avoid overloading your schedule. (I use Harvest to do this.)
- Set a precedent. If you’re known to take phone calls and send emails over the weekend, that’s what will be expected. Stop it! Being a free agent should mean you have more freedom, not less. You’re the one responsible for molding the job that you’ll love or hate, so be mindful of the precedents you set along the way. They will come back to bite you.
- Communicate your plans. As always, let your clients know what’s up if taking the weekends off is a big change for you or if you plan to take an extra day or two on one end of the holiday.
Entrepreneurs, reclaim your weekend!
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