We often discuss the all important work-life balance with our clients, friends and family. But we know that it’s not always as easy as just taking time off – especially as a business owner. Even when you’re “off work” you find yourself checking emails, answering calls and generally worrying about what’s going on in the office! Well, this Christmas and New Year might just be the perfect time to practice switching off.
It can be a real challenge to switch between work and free time, but it is absolutely necessary for your health and happiness. We’ve put together some tips to help you leave work behind and enjoy the festive period to the fullest with your friends and family.
Switch off your laptop and smartphone
It can seem daunting to be totally disconnected from work, but all it takes is a few hours for the refreshing effect to show through. Turning these off a few hours before bed can give you some downtime too. Christmas Day in particular is the best time for this, to truly be with your friends and family!
Use some physical energy
There’s nothing quite like pumping some physical energy to quiet your brain. If you can, starting or finishing the day with some exercise can help you to step back from work. Studies have shown that regular exercise can even improve memory and thinking skills – a bonus! Partaking in some exercise with family & friends is the perfect social combination too!
Concentrate on something else
This seems like a really obvious statement, but what we mean is, it’s tempting to just flop and do nothing. Instead try using a different part of your brain to change things up. Have a go at something artistic or musical, or perhaps a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. Charlotte recently started Knitting and loves it!
Write it down
Avoid the sleepless nights and distracted days by writing down all of those business thoughts, ideas and concerns as and when you think of them. Use your smartphone or simply keep a pen and notepad by the bed and you can relax in the knowledge that nothing is forgotten and can be picked up again when the working day starts. A good sleeping pattern is vital in keeping you energised throughout the day!
Take a holiday!
As a business owner you need to allow yourself time within the year to recharge the batteries. Take a holiday, and actually TAKE it. Set the out of office on and advise your colleagues, clients and contacts that you are unavailable during this time. If you absolutely must stay in touch with the office, set a window during each day where colleagues & clients can contact you (eg: in the morning 9am – 11am); this way you can relax and the people you are on holiday with can too!
Get some fresh air
There’s nothing like an evening walk to clear your head, particularly if you convince family or friends to join you. Ban work from the topic of conversation and this simple idea can truly give you a great perspective of the world. Wrap up this winter and enjoy the great outdoors – perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to enjoy a white Christmas?
Get ready for bed
It sounds silly, but there’s a real difference between just collapsing into bed, and showering, unwinding and readying yourself first. Make sure you do the latter, and you’ll find yourself drifting off into a peaceful sleep much easier- with all thoughts of work out of the way for another day.
Stick to your working hours
A wise man once told us; if you can’t complete your work within a standard working day then you’ve taken on too much or you’re not doing it right! We completely agree. Being self-employed; it is so easy to get into the habit of working long days, evenings and even weekends. Whether this is because you choose to out of enjoyment or not; you must allow the time to relax. Our advice is to review your work pattern – how much additional time do you spend working outside of the standard working day? Why is this so – too much work to complete? Admin and paperwork is mounting up? Once you have reviewed this, list out all of the non-work related activities you could have completed instead – perhaps you could have spent more time with friends/family, or took part in your favourite hobby, or even started a new hobby. This list may prove to be a sobering read and trigger you into action in terms of how you can reduce those unsociable hours.
Thank you for stopping by!
We wish you a very Merry Festive Season and hope you enjoy some time off!