As a bookkeeper in business, my end of financial year is all about payment summaries, TPAR, superannuation, payroll tax, stocktakes, financial reporting and BAS – repeated 80 times!
Suffice to say, July and August are pretty hectic months for me with many business deadlines to meet.
This is two months of the year when my kids go to after school care more often than not, my day usually begins at 4am and ends at 9pm, weekends are often worked, my kids get tuck shop for lunch more often than usual (although they don’t mind at all!), grocery shopping is done on the fly and without much thought, the washing piles up and the essentials tend to get washed and dried on the morning required (yes son, clean underwear is important), evening meals are slapped together and often end up being takeaway, and my dear 8 year old son reminds me, “Mum, it’s important for you to have a weekend too!”
End of financial year may not be a mad rush for you like it is for me, but there are surely times in your business that are more hectic then others, after which you need to step back and take a break.
Here are my top 3 reasons why it’s so important to have a break from business occasionally and look after ‘us’ first so we can look after everyone and everything else:
1. AVOID BURN OUT
At the end of a particularly busy or stressful time in my business, I can be left feeling emotionally and physically drained. I need to give myself a break to reenergise myself and recharge my batteries. I schedule a 3-day camping weekend once a month with family.
It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the business, as soon as the car pulls away I can literally feel the stress leave my body. It’s surprising what just a few days in a completely different environment, without any stress of business, can do for our energy levels. I come back feeling completely refreshed and ready to tackle whatever business is going to throw at me next.
2. RECONNECT WITH LOVED ONES
Getting overwhelmed in business can leave me feeling disconnected from family and friends, and even myself. Given the nature of business, this sometimes can’t be helped. But it’s important to nurture our relationships, as these are what will keep us going in the difficult times.
My weekends are all about creating family memories so when we’re not camping, we’re doing fun runs, bush walks, going to the beach, and hubby and I have just got into military inspired obstacle courses – there’s something strangely special about being covered in mud and working together towards the next obstacle!
3. MY BUSINESS CAN RUN WITHOUT ME
I know, it shouldn’t be possible right? But with a little planning, we really can afford to be away from the business for a few days and it won’t crumble without us. Here’s how:
- I plan breaks around busy times and deadlines – I never go during BAS period, but right before or after is perfect.
- I schedule breaks in advance so I have something to look forward to.
- I’m still covered while I’m away with casual staff, phone answering service and email auto responders.
- Communicating with my clients is vital. Most of them know I’m often camping on a Friday, and for longer stretches I let them know ahead of time so there are no urgent matters that get missed.
So how did I take a break from my business after my chaotic end to 2015-2016?
A 5-day whirlwind trip to New Zealand with the family. I can’t say it was exactly relaxing, New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world after all, but it was definitely exciting and so enjoyable to see my boys experience so many new things. And do you know what? With a little planning in the lead up, my business ran just fine without me!
Article first published in Smallville.