This morning, as I scanned all of my social media channels, I couldn't help but notice that everyone is raving about their exciting Fourth of July plans. When you work for someone else, it seems like long weekends are what you live for. Who doesn't want a few days off on someone else's bill? For a small business owner, weekends are a whole different story. I don't know about you, but as the holiday approaches, I am most excited about a few days of uninterrupted work time.
During the week, amidst e-mails, phone calls and meetings, it is sometimes hard to get work done. For business owners, weekends provide the necessary sacred time that allows us to propel our businesses forward. For this Fourth of July weekend, I challenge you to put the entrepreneurial guilt aside, and actually enjoy yourself! You eventually have to accept that your to-do list will never be completed.
So, here are four ways to get the most out of your long weekend:
1) Spend time doing what you love: You are an entrepreneur, not Superman. Just because you own your own business, does not mean that you have to sacrifice all of life's little pleasures. Ask any small business owner: burnout is a real condition, and it prevents you from doing quality work. As a rule of thumb, I believe that you should spend at least one day of your weekend completely unplugged. There is actually more to life than work! So this weekend, spend time doing things you love with the people you care about. Make sure to hit up the family BBQ or watch the fireworks show without being connected to your iPhone.
2) Organize your life: Spend an hour or two of your weekend just organizing everything for the next week. This will prevent the Monday morning freak out. I truly believe that the first few hours of Monday morning set the tone for the rest of the week. If you are ready to hit the ground running, then the rest of the week will have the same momentum. To do my job, I always need people to send me files, so I can start pitching their clients. I try to make sure I have all the necessary press releases, media alerts and information before Monday morning. This way I don't spend my time sitting around waiting. I want to be able to jump in right away.
3) Finalize your schedule: I tell my clients that by Sunday night I have my entire week planned out. I spend a few minutes each weekend writing down what I will be working on each day. This way, I feel more organized about the week, and I don't panic about if I will have enough time to complete all my work. Each one of your clients deserves quality work; to accomplish that it takes planning and scheduling on your part. While 85 percent of your schedule should be finalized by Sunday night, it is important to leave some wiggle room. After all, things do come up.
4) Carve out alone time: If your weekend is jam packed with social outings, you won't be refreshed for the week. Socializing is exhausting! Alone time is necessary to fully decompress. Sometimes you just need to see a movie by yourself, take your dog on a walk or read a book. For me, quality alone time is necessary to maintain my mental sanity. Since I work in PR, I am always communicating with people in same form or fashion. I need to take breaks from the constant chatter (this includes social media).
As an entrepreneur, you probably never feel like you have earned a break; you should always be pushing yourself to do more and achieve more. Even though we are entrepreneurs, we are still human, and deserve a chance to enjoy ourselves once in a while. So, use this long weekend to actually have some fun. I know; it probably sounds like a foreign concept. There is life outside of work? Yes! Make a promise to yourself that for this Fourth of July, you will truly enjoy hot dogs, fireworks and the hot days of summer!
Rebekah Epstein is the founder of fifteen media, an agency that works exclusively with PR firms to streamline media relations in a digital era. She specializes in business, lifestyle, fashion and beauty. Rebekah also blogs about all things Gen Y at NeonNotebook. Follow her at @BekahEpstein