Blog

Get expert advice on every topic you need as a small business owner, from the ideation stage to your eventual exit. Our articles, quick tips, infographics and how-to guides can offer entrepreneurs the most up-to-date information they need to flourish.

Subscribe to our blog

Why downtime and vacations make you a better entrepreneur

Posted by Shivali Anand

September 24, 2021    |     3-minute read (497 words)

As any entrepreneur will tell you, running a business leaves little time for breaks. Sleep, family, friends and leisure often take a back seat as downtime gets pushed aside in a business owner's quest for success. 

Many entrepreneurs never even think about taking a vacation. The problem is, they burn out more quickly than they can recharge. Sure, working constantly might help you develop a business rapidly, but not taking a break can hurt your productivity in the long term. Entrepreneurs, like everyone else, must take pauses to replenish energy before completing subsequent sprints.

Below, we recap six of the most important reasons why entrepreneurs must have time away to succeed:

  • Loss of creativity – Research shows humans’ attention levels drop when they focus on anything for an extended length of time. Creativity and critical thinking plummet. Science has repeatedly found that the human brain needs rest and that this is especially true after a period of intensive activity.
  • The irritability factor – Being overworked can have a negative impact on your mood. When your mind and body are weary, you snap and lose patience easily.
  • Health concerns – Overworking can result in a plethora of physiological and psychological issues that manifest over time. High blood pressure, stress, heart problems and mental health issues can slowly sap your vitality.
  • Loss of productivity – Contrary to common belief, working long hours and cramming many things into a day does not increase your productivity. It has the opposite effect. Spacing work tasks apart and getting enough rest is the name of the game for working efficiently.
  • Refreshed perspective – When it comes to solving problems, you often need a second set of eyes. But that fresh perspective could be your own. Taking time off can help you gain fresh insights.
Long run versus short run

The preceding pointers address short-term burnout. What happens when you spend years doing the same thing and expecting the same result? When do you know you need to take a vacation and go on a work detox to refocus and get some wiggle room?

This revelation usually comes late in the game when you're sick and weary of the work at hand. When you are drained from striving nonstop to fulfill your ambitions, even your favorite activities may become monotonous chores. How can you sort out whether your burnout is more serious and long-term?

  • By considering whether the work at hand is becoming tedious. Is it bringing you the same satisfaction as before, or is it just another duty? 
  • By asking yourself whether you still have the most razor-sharp knife in the drawer.
  • By asking yourself whether your children still recognize you. For many entrepreneurs, this is a make-or-break question. 
Takeaway: Working in a high-stress workplace tends to mold us in ways we are unaware of. Life can be challenging, and this is especially true for entrepreneurs. It is essential to look after your mental and physical well-being, which includes downtime and vacations, to succeed in the long haul.

Learn how we can put more time back in your day.