How to switch off in a culture that’s always on

Remember the days when you’d leave work and not think about it until you were back at your desk the following morning? It probably seems like a distant memory nowadays, or may have never happened at all! Not because we don’t want it to, but because it’s almost impossible with the amount of technology that is out there at the moment and even more difficult for business owners like you and I.

Being an entrepreneur has essentially become a 24/7 job; many business owners will put in the hours well beyond the 9-5 working day, and even more will tell you how they lie awake at night, with their minds consumed by their company, regardless of whether they’re on holiday or at home.

It can be incredibly difficult to take a step back, especially when you’re still involved in the day to day business matters. But, it’s important to learn how to switch off. Below, I’ve pulled together my advice on how to do so.

Recharge your batteries

Running your own business can be all-consuming, and taking some time away to recharge is crucial. I think a lot of business owners feel guilty when they step away from their company, as there’s always a sense that they could be doing more. And while this is great in the short-term, as it can keep you motivated and help you to push the business to the next level, it can also cause you to burn out if you’re not careful. Taking a few days away to relax and refresh is key, and it often allows you to come back raring to go and ready to take on more challenges.

Know what’s best for you

I always found switching off difficult in the past, particularly when it came to going on holiday. When I was away, I’d spend much of my time worrying about the business, ultimately resulting in me staying involved in day to day tasks. It also defeated the purpose of going away altogether! Now, I appreciate that it’s essential for me to switch off, and each time I go away I find it easier to relax and take a step back from work. The reality is that there will always be people who need to speak to you or hear back from you, so it might still be important to make a point of checking in from time to time. Figuring out how you want to play it and letting your team know when you will/won’t be online can help.

Build a team you trust

I like to be proactive and hands-on, so I’m still fairly involved in the day to day running of CV-Library. As the business continues to expand rapidly, I do find that I need to check in whilst I’m away or out of the office. But, I can also rest assured in the knowledge that I have a talented team who will continue to keep the business running in my absence. I’ve built up a trusted senior-level executive team, and I know that I can step away from the business and leave it in good hands. This has really helped in recent years as our employee base has grown.

Put your laptop/phone/tablet away!

Nowadays, its second nature to reach for our phone and stay connected with the world in which we live in. But, this can have a negative effect on your own wellbeing. Being strict and only allowing yourself to use your phone, tablet or laptop for a short period in the evenings, or while away, is important. You are your own worst enemy at the end of the day. For me, I leave my laptop in the office or at home, and only allocate a set time of day to check in with the office when I’m away. I’ve found that I can really enjoy my holiday, switch-off and recharge properly.

There’s always a balance to be found but I’ve realised over the years that I need to be able to disconnect when I’m away from the office. I’d advise other entrepreneurs in a similar position to really think about putting themselves first and focussing on their personal wellbeing.

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