You went to start the pickup and realized that because you left the lights on last night, the engine is dead. Your pickup is telling you that it is tired and won't be taking you anywhere today until you charge the battery.
If only we had such an indicator that kept us on a good personal maintenance schedule!
Unfortunately we don't. During planting and harvest we run ourselves ragged. We can sleep when we're old, right?
As business owners we tend to be reluctant to pull away from the business and take time off. But time away can be especially beneficial to your business for several reasons.
A recharge is good for your brain. Researchers have found that mental relaxation and insight are closely linked. There is something about putting your brain into a relaxed state that helps you come up with ideas, even when you are not trying. At our company, we invite clients to the office in Peoria for two full days to work on their business. We get them away from the farm and add a lot of social time. They bring their spouse and stay away from home. Some of them drive hundreds of miles to do this. It's tough to get them away, but at the end of the two days, they're so happy that they came.
Of course it's a good chance to work on their business and think about things differently, and just the process of getting them away from the day to day is a mental recharge. We do the same thing with employee development once a year. We bring staff into an environment away from their computers where they mix with people they don't typically work with. This retreat type of setting sets the stage and the ideas for personal growth just flow.
Time off is good for your health. A decades-long research project into the causes and risk factors for heart disease found a strong link between vacations and longevity. Men who took more vacations were the ones who lived longest. Go away on vacation at least once a year and your risk of death falls by 20% compared with those who keep working.
Getting away is good for your family. Travel strengthens family bonds by creating shared memories. A vacation now is an investment in your family's future. My wife and I have been business owners all of our careers. She insists on the recharge that comes with getting away. It's been a good habit for us and our marriage.
Practice your succession plan. Vacationing allows you to have someone else fill your shoes for a short time. It's a chance to develop the leadership skills of others and share responsibility in your operation. This is preparation for retirement and a good back up plan in case something should happen to you, resulting in your absence from work for a while. This is also something we practice in our business, letting different employees practice leadership while senior managers travel.
Consider a vacation to recharge your personal battery - for your health, your brain, your family. It pays dividends.
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