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Wellbeing / Work life balance

Are you taking enough annual leave?

Often soloists don’t plan their annual leave well enough and, unfortunately for many, they haven’t taken a real holiday for years. Yet it is hugely important for soloists to take meaningful chunks of time out from their business.

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One of the perceived perks of being a soloist is that you don’t have to ask your boss when you want to take a holiday and you are not limited by the traditional four weeks leave a year. Sounds fabulous!

It drives my husband crazy that he has to juggle his allocated four weeks annual leave each year whilst I can take time off seemingly whenever I choose, although the reality for many soloists is nowhere near as glamorous.

Reluctance to take time off abounds. Do any of the following sound familiar?

“I get paid for my time. If I am not seeing clients I don’t earn any money. I can’t afford to take two weeks annual leave or more off.”

“I went to a conference at the Gold Coast this year. Doesn’t that count as a holiday?”

"I went to a conference at the Gold Coast this year. Doesn’t that count as a holiday?"

“I don’t work on long weekends. That is enough of a break for me.”

“I can’t take a holiday. Who would look after my business?”

“I went to the coast for a week with the family. I took my laptop and mobile phone so that I could keep on top of work while we were there. I am sure my family understand.”

Think of the way you treat yourself and your annual leave time in your business. Would you accept those standards if you were being employed by an organisation?

Want more articles like this? Check out the work life balance section.

Consider the following questions:

  • When did I last take a holiday for two weeks duration or longer?
  • When did I last take a holiday for two weeks duration or longer without my mobile or email access?
  • What are the current obstacles I face in taking real holiday’s from my business?
  • What destination would I like for my next holiday?

You might be wondering why I talk about holidays that are two weeks or more. Most people take three to five days to really relax and unwind. If your holiday is only a week you no sooner relax than you have to go back to work! The ability to have more time after you unwind is enormously beneficial to your wellbeing.

To lead a well balanced and healthy life, it is important for soloists to think strategically about taking annual leave and not just focusing solely on their business.

As 2008 is fast approaching this is the perfect time to begin thinking about your next round of annual leave and where you will spend your holidays.

In my next article I will explore some tips and strategies for scheduling holidays to ensure you get all the holidays you deserve!

Linda Anderson

is a Certified Professional Coach dedicated to helping people live bold and rewarding lives. Linda has an energetic and direct style of coaching which suits people who like to be challenged.

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