4 Reasons Why You Won't (and Can't) Take a Vacation

Blog Week 46 - Vacation

Do you feel like you can never take REAL time off?

As business owners, it’s tough to truly switch off from our duties. 

  • You feel a constant sense of responsibility and control
  • You fear missing out on opportunities
  • You feel the urge to keep up with emails all hours of the day

What you have to know is, everyone’s version of a “vacation” is going to look different and there's no right or wrong way to switch off. 

There are several reasons why people don't feel comfortable taking a vacation. It often comes down to where you are at in your career, where you are in the hierarchy of the organization that you work with, and what pressures you feel at work.

One of my favorite things to do is support leaders so that they can focus, connect, and scale. My goal is to support you to leverage your time and energy in a way where you don't necessarily feel like you’re constantly burnt out. 

In this blog, I'm excited to dive into sharing a little bit more about my perspective around vacations, both from a personal and coaching point of view. PLUS, I’ll walk you through some mindset shifts so you can think about time off differently and make taking a vacation an easier process.

Are you ready to jump in? 👇🏾

Why Do You Feel This Way?

Let’s explore a few different reasons that you may be resisting taking time off in your business. 

1/ You’re the Only Worker

A lot of solo entrepreneurs tell themselves they can't take a vacation because they're the only ones working. 

But my question for you is this -  

How are your beliefs and stories serving you?

Are you able to show up and serve your customers, or create products, in a way where you STILL have energy? 

And will you continue to be able to work in this way day in and day out?

My guess is probably not if you're not taking sufficient breaks. 


2/ You Feel Guilty

You may feel guilt around taking time off for many reasons.

Many of us are working from home right now, and so there's added self-pressure. You might be thinking to yourself, “well I'm working from home in my pajamas. Is this really work?” 

Because you’re not working in your ‘normal’ situation, you feel like you can't take a vacation or ask for one from your employers. You feel like you haven't earned one.

It’s common to have a perception that you're not working hard enough or what you're doing isn't contributing. 

But this is NOT true. ❌


3/ You Fear Falling Behind

I've heard so many entrepreneurs say to me, “I might miss out on something or someone when I’m not here.” 

A promotion, potential client, or big win.

These are all normal fears. But a lot of times, they’re not serving us. Instead, they’re stunting us, meaning we’re not getting the space that we need to recuperate, rejuvenate, and re-energize.

We might think taking a vacation is bad for business, but often that’s NOT the case. It’s the other way around. 

Vacations and downtime serve an important purpose because as human beings we can't constantly go-go-go. It’s impossible. We need to replenish our energy so we can continue to KEEP producing our best work. 


4/ You Feel An Expectation To Keep Working

You may feel the need to mirror your workplace culture.

If you see your manager constantly online, it gives the impression that it’s also expected of you.

Perhaps you feel your stakeholders aren't just listening to what you say, they're also watching what you do?

It's incredibly important to understand that, a lot of times as a leader, you are modeling the behavior that other people think you expect. 

Even if you have rules in place that say that people can take a break, they might not always buy into that based on your behavior. 

This leads me to WHY. 👇🏾

Why Is Taking a Vacation Important?

There’s SO much research out there that supports taking a vacation. 

Did you know a vacation: 

  • Boosts your happiness
  • Helps rekindle relationships 
  • Allows your brain to create new pathways
  • Reduces your level of stress hormones 

Taking that time to recharge and disconnect from time to time, can do so much more for you than you might have once thought. 

Not only does it have a positive impact on you, but it also has a positive impact on the people around you. 

Both physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you feel better about yourself, it's a lot easier to show up and work with your team. It's a lot easier for you to problem solve, and you'll be that much more creative. 

Newness is something that our brains crave. 

What Can I Do To Make Taking a Vacation Easier?

Have I convinced you to take a vacation yet? Use these tips to make taking time off a whole lot  easier. 

Put Boundaries in Place

When I polled my audience on LinkedIn about taking time off, one fellow leader said this:

I used to be the person you could catch anywhere anytime. I responded to emails while I was off at night and on weekends. When I stopped, I learned that I could actually have a life OUTSIDE of work.

Here’s the thing - people who need something urgently will figure it out. And if they can’t figure it out... They will wait! 

My organization has NEVER shut down over not getting back to an ‘urgent request’ on time.  

Now, I try not to check my email for the first 30 minutes of the day. I check it once on weekends. And when I'm on vacation, it's clearly stated in my out-of-office email that I won't be checking my messages. 

Build boundaries and get comfortable saying, “Hey, I'm not working right now.” 

When you do this, you’re able to get that break, rest up, and take a step back. 

Create Guidelines

Some business owners feel like their business will be destroyed if they aren’t there.

This belief is not serving you. 

You’ll continue to use it as an excuse for why you need to always be engaged with your work and neglect taking appropriate time off.

Develop escalation guidelines so that team members know what to do when they have a question. 

Ask them this - does this impact daily operations so profoundly that we can't conduct business?

Give your team guidelines on when they can contact you and I help the team understand that you are not meant to be contacted unless it's a REAL emergency. This can leave you feeling comfortable and confident that your team has it handled.

Don’t Wait For Long Stretches Of Time

Recognize that you don't have to wait until you have a huge amount of time in order to take a vacation. 

It's possible to do it at any time. A weekend, a half-day, you name it!

Vacations are about allowing yourself to recuperate, and that can be done on YOUR watch. 

Let me know in the comments. ⬇️ Do any of these reasons resonate with you? Have these tips inspired you to take a vacation?

If so, let me know where you plan to go or how you plan to spend it! 🌴

And if you need help on how you can reduce stress, overwhelm, and burnout as a leader, take my FREE quiz HERE.

Listen to strategies to take a break now HERE.

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