10 Troubling Signs You’re Long Overdue for a Vacation


Vacation? What’s that? If it’s been so long since your last respite from work that you can’t even remember what downtime feels like, something’s gotta give.

Small business owners tend to feel as if taking a vacation is a luxury they can’t afford — and even holidays aren’t days off for most.

Check out these sad stats from Small Business Trends:

  • 70% of small business owners worked on Thanksgiving even though they had planned to take that whole day off.
  •  49% of small businesses take less than three days off the entire holiday season.

But if you’re experiencing any of the 10 troubling signs below, it’s time to admit you need a break from work (before you physically and emotionally break too).

1. Everything Is Annoying You Lately 

Your coworker borrowed a pen and never returned it. Your friend was 10 minutes late to lunch. Your sister pronounces the word “patio,” like “paw-tio” and it makes you want to kill her.

Time for a vacation.

2. You’re Suddenly Making Mistakes 

You forgot to run payroll. You missed a scheduled supplies delivery and now you can’t fulfill an order. You sent the same email to your customers three times in one day.

Time for a vacation.

3. Nothing Makes You Laugh Anymore

When baby goat videos just aren’t doing it for you anymore and your coworker trips and you don’t even crack a smile? You guessed it…

Time for a vacation.

4. You Feel Like a Zombie at Work

You used to love what you do and now you sludge through daily tasks like a brain-dead zombie.

Time for a vacation.

5. You Can’t Sleep at Night

The minute you close your eyes, all you see are unanswered emails, mountains of bills, and complaining customers.

Time for a vacation.

6. You’re Not Looking So Hot

Stress often rears its ugly head in the form of under-eye circles, a permanently furrowed brow, red eyes, irritability, inability to sleep, and other more serious health concerns.

Time for a vacation.

7. Your Personal Life Is Non-Existent 

Birthday dinner for your mom? Quality time with your significant other? School play for your child? Pshh. You’ve got too much work to do.

Time for a vacation.

8. Everything Revolves Around Your Business 

You’re at a family dinner and you talk about work. You miss your exit on the freeway because you’re thinking about work. You go on a Tinder date and never hear back from the person because all you did was talk about work.

Time for a vacation.

9. Your Motivation Is Gone

You used to come up with new ideas all the time, now your mind is a barren wasteland. You used to drink two cups of coffee per day, now it’s two pots. You used to go to networking events, now you’d rather jump off a cliff.

Time for a vacation.

10. All You Can Think About Is Winning the Lottery

Hey, join the club. But if the sole reason you want to win the lottery is so you can quit your job, either your job isn’t right for you, or it’s…

Time for a vacation.

Stop Making Excuses and Start Planning Your Vacay

Temporarily close your online store (most marketplaces have a ‘vacation’ setting) or delegate tasks to a trusted friend or co-worker (for a business you can’t close) and get the hell out of dodge for as many days as possible. (Hey, even one day is an improvement over none!)

But if you aren’t committed to leaving your work behind, you won’t get the full benefits of your vacation. If someone is handling things for you while you’re gone, tell them to contact you only for true emergencies.

Check your email once a day max — if you must. And fully commit to the three Rs: rest, relax, recharge.

Hopefully you’ll come back to work with a renewed vigor and realize that even short getaways a few times a year are essential to not only your health but the health of your business too.

Where will you go on vacation this year to avoid work burnout? 

About the Author

Shannon Willoby

Shannon is the director of content marketing for Scott's Marketplace and has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. (Or crayon.) When she's not blogging, you can find her daydreaming that she's Khaleesi from Game of Thrones.

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