As a business owner you use your own strategy on how to work and how to relax. I have always prioritized work above most things. But I do take time for family and for relaxation. I’m also quite good about my day-to-day electronic activities. When I’m with people I only occasionally look at my phone. When taking a phone call I step away from the common area and talk in private limiting my time in a conversation usually to within two or three minutes. I don’t play games on electronic devices.
Be Wise In Your Electronic Access
These are all choices which allow me to have full access to all channels. I have 4 email accounts, 3 IM accounts, 2 texting numbers, an eFax number, Skype, Google Hangout voice only and video calling. These are almost all accessible either on my computer as well as my tablet and phone. I do a check with my wife every 3-6 months to ensure I’m behaving properly with her and others.
I did not work hard to get to this state. I have used electronic communications since 1988 when I developed modem based teleconferencing services and was on IRC and newsgroups. When I needed intense work I would lock myself away in a room. When starting out and developing my career I worked most holidays and long work weeks without vacations for many years.
It’s Okay To Not Take A Vacation … For A While
I think this is okay when starting out but not a healthy long-term sustainable way to live. Every person will have a natural ebb and flow in their development and careers. It’s up to you to push hard when it’s needed and back off and relax when you are able. The two flawed areas I see are the extremes.
In one case I see business owners that have spent many decades without being turned ‘off’. While other people (not usually business owners) that structure all their work around their family and vacations and hobbies. If you are not happy with your career over the last 5-10 years and you are putting everything before work then the career is not likely to improve.
Get Regular Feedback
- Have a gut check from a close friend or family member that knows you well
- Review the last 5 years. Have you taken any significant breaks?
- Do you have an off switch?
Outside feedback and introspection can help you to gain balance and improve your chances of success. Lifehacker has some tips on how to work while on vacation.