(11) Entering the unknown
Denise Spragg, director of The Sanga House, said: “Although we work 14-hour days at least three days a week – and probably about nine hours for the others – we made a conscious decision to take Tuesdays and, when we can, Wednesday mornings, as our weekends.
“Our business model is in the health and wellbeing sector, so we have to practise what we preach. As for what we do on those days off, we relocated to Somerset, an area that neither of us know well in order to start the business.
“We bought a renovation project of a house, so we alternate between working on the house and taking day trips out into the countryside or to the beach. We believe that getting out into nature is a great antidote to a busy working life, and we always feel revived afterwards. That enables us to go back and be positive and encouraging with our customers.”
(12) R&R at all times
Alex Smith, founder of Basic Arts, said: “For me the ideal scenario is not to have extended periods of intense work followed by extended periods of intense relaxation, but rather mild work at all times.
“For instance, if I’m out in the countryside chilling out, or on holiday as I was in Hawaii last month, I will happily check emails maybe once per day, or every couple of days, or jump on a call to chat about something – in much the same way I would if a friend or relative wanted to discuss something with me.
“By the same token on a given working Tuesday I won’t be locked to the computer nine to five – that’s the compromise.
“The goal of entrepreneurship for me is to get to a point where I don’t know where life ends and work begins; it’s all just one big thing that I want to be doing.”
Georgina Nelson, founder of TruRating, said: “I do find that work creeps into any break I take. There are some people I know who find not looking at the phone or opening the laptop to be the definition of relaxation. For me that means I’m in a constant cold sweat, uneasy about what tsunami is waiting for me when I do.
“For the first few days of any break I usually work a good chunk of time each day (4-8 hours) – finding the peace and quiet is the perfect opportunity to clear my to do list. Once that’s done, then it’s just a daily couple of hours or so monitoring the emails and jumping on any urgent calls.
“Long weekends seem to be the option – driving to a different town or the coast, preferably an area which has big skies. I find starring at big skies really helps me unwind.”
(14) Healthy you, healthy business
Teresa Horscroft, MD of Eureka Communications, said: “For the summer holidays, I am taking off four weeks during August to unwind.
“I believe in summer holidays. I take 6-8 weeks every year and, as a rule, I do not check emails while I’m on holiday and try not to think about work at all. I don’t believe that you can properly monitor emails while you’re on the beach let alone cycling through the mountains of Sardinia or trekking in Spain, so why try to do half a job?
“I believe everyone is entitled to a holiday. Actually, I think if you don’t take a proper holiday then you’re being irresponsible for not just your own health but also the health of the business.
“So what am I doing this year? A staycation for a few weeks where I intend to get out on my bike to cover some miles on those glorious rolling Hampshire hills, pick up my camera and meet up with friends for lunch and two weeks in Greece.”
(15) Mic check
Rob Moore, founder of Progressive Property, said: “My work diary for June and July was largely dominated by days off for getting married and having a honeymoon in the US, but a deadline for my latest book “Money: Know More, Make More, Give More” was looming and I realised I would have to record my audiobook.
“I also recorded some podcasts and took time to think about the business while sitting in the sun, rather than working in the business in the office I mentor entrepreneurs for a living through my companies Progressive Property and Unlimited Success and teach people about work-life balance and think it can be ok and productive for work to creep into downtime as long as new wives, loved ones aren’t neglected!”
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