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10 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Take Breaks as CEOs

When life and work get’s so busy, the usual thing for most business owners is to bury themselves in the work in a hope to get more done. The problem? Your productivity slows down and that calls for a break. It’s so important to take a break because it gives you time to come up with fresh ideas and boosts your productivity. How you take the breaks depends on what works best for you.

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they take breaks and here are the insightful responses.

#1- Two Fridays off

Photo Credit: Tana M. Session

As a full-time entrepreneur for almost 4 years, I had to learn strategic ways to take a break from my business. There is a myth that entrepreneurs enjoy lots of downtimes and get to work from exotic remote locations. Well, this may be true for some well-established entrepreneurs, but the majority of us are focused on our business 24/7/365. It is hard to turn our business off, but it is so very important to learn how to take time off effectively to help you recharge and allow to better serve your clients. I am intentional in taking off at least 2 Fridays per month. On those days, I set no agenda, I wake up late and I say yes to any opportunities to meet up, go to happy hour or go to the spa with friends, or schedule a date with my husband. I also do not open my laptop on my days off. If I cannot handle the business from my phone that day, it will have to wait until I am back on duty. This practice has helped me stay motivated and energized to continue loving what I do every day.

Thanks to Tana M. Session


#2- Four ways

Photo Credit:
Yogesh Shetty

Never set 60 minutes meeting, but always shoot for 40 mins meeting, this gives me 20 mins break from every meeting I take 2. Use calendly or any scheduling software, they come with a lot of features that allows you to set meeting restrictions 3. social gathering every weekends – mainly with close friends 4. Delegation – use freelancers/contractors (fiverr/upwork) to offload mundane task.

Thanks to Yogesh Shetty, Avibra!


#3- Spontaneous breaks and long weekends

Photo Credit:
Adamaris Mendoza

As an entrepreneur and psychotherapist who guides and supports other entrepreneurs, I know how important our mental and physical health is to our success, happiness and fulfillment. I enjoy variety and I often choose to be spontaneous. Jumping in car with my husband and going to the movies in the middle of the day is fun and provides a quick distraction. I love to be energized by nature and taking day long hikes once or twice a week are invigorating. Date nights that include dinner and a show add excitement to the routine. Once a month I do carefully schedule a long weekend trip out of the city so we can completely unplug from our hectic schedules. Taking breaks keeps me energized and inspired increasing my productivity and magnifying my results.

Thanks to Adamaris Mendoza


#4- I love to walk on nature trails

Photo Credit:
Amjad Hussain

It allows me to think clearly. I get my moments of creativity during my walk. Walking is both an exercise and meditation for me. I get my best ideas during the walk. I try to walk at least 2-5 miles a day, up to 10 if I can make the time. I have found this has huge ROI on my personal and business health. It is important to go off the grid during walks so that it truly is a break from business and very special time to get in touch with myself.

Thanks to Amjad Hussain, Algo.ai!


#5- Pilates classes

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

Every business owner needs a healthy way to relax during breaks.One of my favorite ways to spend my breaks is by taking a quick Pilates class. Pilates alleviates all my stress, clears my mind of all worries, helps me approach any problems with a clear head, and makes it easier for me to tackle everyday problems that every business owner deals with.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation!


#6- Turning off the notifications

Photo Credit:
Reuben Yonatan

One thing I’ve learned over the years (especially working in the communications technology sector) is that it is incredibly important to un-plug. When you want to put your work down for the day, make sure that you turn off notifications, or even better, turn off your phone. It is absolutely critical to do this, or else you risk getting sucked back in. The same strategy applies for longer breaks, by the way. Going on vacation? Just leave the phone and computer at home entirely. Need a weekend  refresher? Do not take your work computer home with you! Our electronic devices today connect us to our work. As CEO, it is our job to lead the company with vigor. Part of that is knowing when to take the time to re-charge.

Thanks to Reuben Yonatan, GetVOIP!


#7- Delegation and having systems in place

Photo Credit:
John Jonas

I take a break anytime I want or need to. I have a system that allows my business to run even without me. I don’t have to watch over my employees’ shoulders to see if they’re working. And they continue to send me regular reports even when they know I’m on vacation. When you set plan for delegation as part of your business growth strategy and you outsource to reliable people, walking away from it won’t be a problem. I plan my workdays around vacations and trips I want to take, not the other way around.

Thanks to John Jonas, Onlinejobs.ph!


#8- Two weeks vacation a year

Working for months without a break actually has an inverse effect on productivity at work. As I write this, I’m sitting at a cafe in Byron Bay, Australia, treating myself to a bit of sunshine before one of our busiest times of year at Proofed. I know it will help make me more focused in the long run. As a part of our unlimited vacation policy, my business partner and I also encourage our employees to take a minimum of one continuous two-week vacation a year, so everyone has the chance to properly recharge their batteries and switch off from work. We’ve found that this helps with creativity and personal wellbeing. Similarly, as I complete an important task or goal throughout the day, I always reward myself with a short break. As I’m from England, that often comes in the form of that all-important cup of tea. It helps to reset the mind and enhance your focus.

Thanks to Adam Harvey, Proofed!


#9- Throughout my day

Photo Credit: Fiona Gilbert

Let’s be honest, I don’t remember the last time I had a day off without checking in with my team, my emails or my customers. As the head of a health and wellness company that is focused on intelligent self-care, it is absolutely essential I walk the walk. So the best way to take a break for me is to build in breaks throughout my day, so I never get burnt out and I keep the vision and the passion alive. I take time to work out 30 mins each morning. I sit in the morning sun with my cup of coffee and no electronics. There are no electronics during meal times and no eating out of containers, even if I succumb to takeout. Cooking for me, as a mum is essential, it is love, it is nourishment, so I cooking is stress relief and we always eat well. The dogs and I take a stroll every 2 hours for 5 or 10 minutes. And laughter. There is always laughter in my home and in the workplace.

Thanks to Fiona Gilbert, Quanta Therapies, Inc.!


#10- Vacations

Photo Credit:
Sophie Miles

From my position as a mother, and entrepreneur, there are many times when the vicissitudes of life surpass me. Sometimes, the activities are so many, and the time so little, that I only have the desire to stay to rest, and forget about the heavy responsibilities. That is the moment when we have to pause. To continue against the will of the body is to accept a little suffering, and I am not in the position to want that in my life. I take a few days off and go on vacation to my country house, or somewhere peaceful with one of my children or my husband. Or, I take my computer and work remotely for a short period of time. Generally, with three days of rest, I am ready and renewed to return to my responsibilities as CEO and give the best of me again for my company.

Thanks to Sophie Miles, elMejorTrato.com!


How do you take a break as a CEO? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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