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A new research project has revealed that entrepreneurs across Britain are working seven-day weeks and failing to take any holiday leave at all. This hardcore way of working is not only damaging for physical health and mental wellbeing, it is also likely to end up being detrimental to the success of the business in the long run. This is why we’ve here to tell you why it’s essential that you take time out every now and then to rest, recuperate and just generally refresh your system.

Payment processing company Worldpay carried out the research in a bid to find an answer to the question: “is being your own boss all it’s cracked up to be?” and what they found was a little concerning. Most of those surveyed did say that they were glad they made the decision to start up their own business and work for themselves but there was a substantial number who admitted to being totally unprepared for the personal and professional commitments that would come with self-employment. In fact, a whopping three quarters of those questioned agreed that running their own business has proved to be a bigger challenged than they had initially hoped.

The survey showed that many business owners are working an excess of 40 hours every week, with 40% saying they consistently work six and seven-day weeks. The city working the longest hours was Cardiff, with 60% admitting to these long weeks and Norwich coming in at a close second with 55%. What was perhaps more shocking, however, was the revelation that 14% of business owners were feeling added pressure on an account of not being able to rely on their employees to run the business in their absence.

The holidays are coming (or they should be)

Not only are these business owners running themselves into the ground with never-ending work schedules, they are also failing to take valuable holidays that would provide them with the time they need to de-stress effectively. More than a third of those surveyed admitted that they hadn’t taken more than a week off in over three years, but if our nation of successful entrepreneurs is going to survive, things need to change around here.

Tim Campbell MBE, founder of Bright Ideas Trust, said: “All too often people thinking about starting their own business focus on the rewards such as making money and being their own boss” and added “they sometimes overlook how much of an investment of time is required. The Worldpay research highlights the importance of a work life balance over the long-term. Time is precious, especially to SMEs and they need to use it wisely in order to create the life they dream of.”

Top 3 reasons to make sure you get some R&R

Bearing all of this in mind, we’ve pulled together the three main reasons why you need to allocate dedicated time to chilling the fluff out, business owner or on your head and your valuable enterprise be it.

Prevent the dreaded brain burnout – Owning and running your own business is hard work, like seriously hard work. Not only are you managing a heavier workload than an in-house employee, you’re also dealing with knowing that you’re entirely responsible for your own livelihood as well as your workforce. Juggling all of this with building a successful brand, winning business, cultivating a client base, liaising with clients and balancing the books can be a real strain on you physically and mentally. The latter is what is what we’re calling the dreaded brain burnout.

If you’re mentally exhausted and not getting enough sleep, you can’t possibly expect to function to your full potential and will likely become snappy and impatient with those around you. If you don’t want to take a holiday for yourself, take it for those who would be on the receiving end of your manic meltdown because this could wind up being an important client.

Make way for creativity – Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come to you when you’re lying in bed or relaxing in the garden at the weekend (if you even remember what relaxation is)? That’s because you’re blood pressure isn’t through the roof and you’re giving your brain room to breathe and think for itself without cramming as many thought processes into it as possible.

Taking some time away from the workplace, whether this is to an exotic island far, far away or a little closer to home, can be just what you need to get your creative juices flowing again. You’ll return to work with a brand new set of ideas and be ready and raring to make a success of them.

Encourage important team development – As we hinted at earlier, if the thought of taking some time out for yourself is a bitter pill that you just cannot bear to swallow then look at it as more of an altruistic act that is going to benefit those around you and your business in general.

As the Worldpay survey demonstrated, there are a worrying number of business owners who feel that they can’t rely on their workforce to maintain the business in the absence. However, if you never give your staff a chance to prove themselves, step up to the challenge and develop themselves professionally, you will forever be stuck with the dilemma of needing a break but being unable to so.

Ensuring that your team are well-trained and trustworthy should give you the peace of mind you need to go in search of some peace for your mind.



About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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