Raise your hand if this sounds familiar – you’ve worked the past 10 days in a row. The last day you had off wasn’t really a day off because you spent it running errands for your dealership, which included taking business calls and checking email from home. As a result, you’re cranky and you can’t seem to think clearly or creatively anymore.
We know how hard it is to take time off for yourself. You’re the captain of the ship, so all major decisions have to go through you. The problem is that most owners don’t stop long enough to see the negative effect this constant work is having on their productivity. When you don’t take the time to rest and recharge, the quality of your work and decision-making starts to go down dramatically, which in turn has a negative impact on your bottom line.
However, taking time off is often easier said than done. So, to get there, try out these tips:
1. Start by Training Your Replacement
Make sure you have at least one other person who knows how to run your business the way you do. That means they should know how to pull relevant reports from your dealership software as well as handle ordering, training and any customer service issues that may come up.
When you have a right-hand person who’s fully trained in every aspect of your dealership, then taking some time off is easier (and less worrisome)
2. Take Quick Breaks
When was the last time you took a Wednesday afternoon off to go golfing? Or took Friday off to spend with your family?
Taking small breaks during the week can really help ease your stress. You don’t need a two-week stretch to get reenergized; more frequent, smaller breaks can be just as effective. But when you take an afternoon off, make sure you really do take it off. Leave work at work, and fully commit to whatever fun activity you decide to do.
3. Book a Trip
If it’s not on your calendar, it’s not going to happen, right? Many dealers keep saying they’ll take time off “next month.” But “next month” never comes! Financially committing to a trip by buying a plane ticket or setting a date with friends or family will help ensure you actually take the time off.
4. Accept Help from Others
We know one business owner who can’t seem to commit to taking any time off for himself. So, his wife bought him a 12-month massage package that he had to attend once a month, forcing him to either use it or lose it. He now takes one Friday off each month for his massage and then spends the rest of the day with his family.
If someone close to you decides to do something similar – let them!
Some dealers think that taking time for themselves is a waste of money. After all, they could be at work getting things done!
But eventual fatigue is easy and inevitable when you’re the boss, because chances are, you’re working harder than anyone else on your team. Taking time off regularly to rest and de-stress will actually help you earn more and grow your dealership, because you’ll be able to make better decisions and have the energy and enthusiasm to devote to what you’re doing. So, it’s definitely worth it!