Not Enough Hours!

I have to admit I am so so tired this week. We’re understaffed at the moment due to some staff taking their summer holidays and a manager going home to Italy for her mother’s funeral and she’ll be there for a month.  We have taken on a couple of students to cover staff leave but they just don’t seem to get as much work done in a day as our staff do. We can’t expect them to really, they are younger and inexperienced after all, and it takes them some time to get used to the shop.

A few months ago, Matthew and I decided that we both needed to take a full week off during the summer and we scheduled our weeks into the staff holiday schedule. He took a week off in June and went hillwalking and exploring with friends and came back looking tanned, fit and healthy.  Apart from feeling more energetic when he came back, he had new ideas for the store and he was so enthusiastic and fired up, it was brilliant. I found he enthused me too.

I was supposed to go away the week after next but with Margaret, our sales manager, away for the month, I’m really not sure that I feel happy about going away. Matthew says he will cope but as it is, we’re both working all day in the shop and then working on accounts or social media or paperwork in the evenings. Mum says we are working too hard too and that she will help out. However, she does quite a bit already in terms of creating recipes and helping out on ‘taster days’ in addition to looking after the books for The Cheese Mall.

Speaking to our mentor, The Beacon Coach, yesterday, she reminded me that this is a common mistake that people in business make, particularly during their first year of business. They just work continually and don’t take a break. Breaks away or even a day off are valuable not just to take a breather but also to enable you to stand outside the box and evaluate your business.

She recommended I read the book ‘Not Enough Hours’ by Owen Fitzpatrick in order to help me prioritize my time, come up with some time-saving schemes for myself and to realise that I just might be making myself too busy. So far, I’ve read one chapter – in bed at night just before I fall asleep after two pages so I think The Beacon Coach might be right – I’m working too hard!

If we are going to go ahead with creating a franchise for The Cheese Mall, I am going to have to be full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm for the months going forward. I guess one advantage of writing this blog post is that it has convinced me that yes, I do need to take that week off.

Do you find you work too hard at your own business? Is it hard to switch off in the evenings? Do you schedule time off and holidays?

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