Can You Really Take A Break When You Are Self-Employed?

Can You Really Take A Break When You Are Self-Employed?

Working for yourself means being your own boss. Freedom, liberation and utter control over the what, how and when. Sounds like bliss. We all aspire to be the ones calling the shots, right? However, is it all roses and rainbows?

The Down Side To Self-Employment

Being self-employed comes with tremendous pressure and responsibility. Unlike employment, sick cover and holiday pay don’t exist as standard. This means that as an individual, you need to have preparations in place in case you are unable to work. What if you get sick, break a limb or just need time off to recover. When you are self-employed, it’s hard to take a break. Breaks mean no income and no pay, and when you are effectively paying for time off, one could be inclined to push on and keep working.

A friend of mine would skip family holidays because they simply couldn’t justify the money lost for time off. Now, some would say this is owning a business, especially in the early stages when you are building up your brand, but at what point do you draw the line. Even self-employed people need a break, but can you really take a break when self-employed?

It’s Important To Have Adiquent Time Off

Although it’s hard to turn down money – even more so when you are self-employed, and your earnings are not guaranteed – you need to make sure you take adequate time off. Working without the necessary breaks might make you richer, but you are more likely to end up sick in the long run. If you get sick, who’s going to run your business then?

How To Make Sure You Take A Break When SelfEPloyed

I get it; time off as a self-employed person is hard, but there are some things you can do to allow yourself a break.

  1. Consider hiring someone to take on work when you need/want a break. A Subcontractor or virtual assistant depending on the field of work you are in. This will give you the freedom to take time out without having to turn money down. Yes, there will be a cost, but if you can balance it financially, it will be worth it in the long run.
  2. Delegate tasks and outsource where you can. If bookkeeping isn’t your thing or invoicing is difficult, outsource this work to someone else. This frees up your time to do what you are good at. The time saved means you can consolidate your days so that you can take time off.
  3. Check your organisation. Evaluate your schedule and really see if there is an opportunity to plan better. Group specific tasks together to save time etc.
  4. Take time off when you can. If you can’t take off a whole week, perhaps just take time off when you can – a long weekend or a couple of afternoons a week will help prevent burnout and give you a chance to take a break without having to down tools inclusively.

Being self-employed is an incredibly rewarding way to work, but it’s really easy to fall into the traps that cause overwork and burnout. It’s hard to justify taking time off, but you need to look at the bigger picture. Your mental health and wellbeing are just as important as your physical health; make sure you check in with yourself regularly.

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