As the owner of window film business, your typical day probably requires more hours than the work day allows— probably even more than the actual 24-hour day allows. So, you probably answer phone calls, texts, and emails after the “work day” is over, maybe even checking your smartphone at bedtime or immediately after you wake up. You work on the weekends too, and the word “vacation” may even make you laugh— and not because you’re having fun on one now— but because you can’t imagine how to possibly plan days off when you’re so busy running your business.
While it’s not realistic for you to turn off your phone for an entire week, it is important to make the time to disconnect. In fact, unplugging can even increase your productivity. There’s research to prove it. A 2012 study by the University of California, Irvine and U.S. Army researchers found being cut off from work email significantly reduces stress and allows workers to focus far better.
Here are three ways to take tech-free breaks:
1. Take time for lunch. For most Americans lunch breaks are getting shorter and shorter, if they even exist at all. But, scientists have found that taking a break, even for 15 to 20 minutes, helps sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day. Even if you don’t feel like eating, squeeze in time to step away from the office: go for a walk, take a catnap, or even try meditation. Once you’re done, you can return to work with renewed focus.
2. Don’t check email in bed. Most of us are email addicts, and yes you definitely need to respond to your emails. But consider this: A 2012 survey by the Center for Creative Leadership found that 60% of smartphone-using professionals kept in touch with work for a full 13.5 hours or more a day, 5 days a week, and then spent another 5 hours scanning emails on weekends. That’s a total of 72 hours a week connected to work. Another similar survey found that 50% checked email while in bed, and 38% “routinely” checked email from the dinner table. You get the point.
3. Take one day off every week. Running your business may require you to work Saturdays, but if you’re closed on Saturdays take advantage of it. Sometimes the best way to be an effective business owner is to remove yourself from the office both physically and technically. You need to give your brain and your body some rest. As the boss, it’s often easier to tell your employees to take time off and unplug than it is to follow your own advice. So trust your employees more, and make sure you have a policy in place to reach you if there’s a true emergency.
And it is the holiday season, so if time allows it, go ahead and take that vacation to recharge your batteries.