Sometimes I wonder if creative entrepreneur and workaholic are synonymous for everyone. They're pretty synonymous for me.
A few weeks ago I touched on my feelings of separating life and work, and how being a creative entrepreneur usually makes this impossible. We eat, sleep, and breathe our businesses. Daily. My studio is part of my living room. We can't simply walk away.
Or can we?
One of the things that I've always really loved about my job of working for myself is being able to take time off whenever I need to (within reason). I even made a commitment to myself at the beginning of this year that I would take at least six weeks off, an idea that is nonsense in the traditional workplace, but I'll make it happen, plus some.
And, I'm still running a successful business.
I will be taking the next two weeks off from creative projects for the longest break that I've taken since Christmas. Why is taking so many days away from work so important to me? I'll tell you why:
1. I'm more creative when I don't have to be.
Stepping away from your work is the best way to work well, especially when you're a creative. Even on the non-creative side of my business, developing websites works best after I walk away or sleep on problems. Just refreshing your brain makes it all easier, and sometimes you need more than a run to the coffee shop. Sometimes you need a whole week.
After coming off of a line of large projects, taking some days off to refocus will only make me better for my upcoming projects.
2. Sometimes taking a break gives me a chance to actually work on my business.
It is so hard for me to switch my focus from helping a client's business grow to helping my own business grow. This is a problem that I've chatted with several creatives about in similar fields. We're so focused on helping our clients that sometimes we even feel a bit guilty turning around to help ourselves.
So, for me, I just disconnect them entirely and spend a few days just focusing on my own business. I'm excited to spend a couple of days over the next two weeks implementing some new things on the local front of Indie Shopography.
3. Remember what it's like to use my living room as just a living room.
Since moving into a smaller place, I can't separate life and work in my house as easily as I could. My studio used to be a separate room in the downstairs of our house. I could essentially go days without seeing anything regarding work. Now, it's a bit different, as my studio is an out-of-the-way alcove in our living room. I see it when I enter the front door.
This has taken some adjusting and some serious willpower when it comes to things like hearing the ding of incoming mail while sitting on the couch. It makes me twitch. I look forward to spending a few days with my mail app off, my computer shut down, and no need to wander to this side of the room.
Taking breaks are just part of my business plan, like paying for domains and buying paper clips. Honestly, I believe it helps me run my business better. And there's no down side to that.
What about you? Have you made taking time off a priority in your business?