Profit, productivity, and peace of mind…

Over a third (36 percent) of Americans took their last vacation more than two years ago, and over half (51 percent) have not vacationed in more than a year, according to the 11th annual Vacation Confidence Index released by Allianz Global Assistance. Allianz defined a vacation as a leisure trip of at least a week to a destination 100 miles or more from home. One big reason: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Many workers struggle to disconnect even when they are on vacation.

At the same time, in an August 2022 article in The Week magazine, according to the US Department of Labor, 40-45% of US employees are in the process of leaving their positions. A management professor at Texas A&M, Anthony Klotz, predicted this in 2019 and called it "The Great Resignation." One big reason: stress.

As a result, some employers are taking significant steps to encourage vacations. Accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has started giving its 60,000 US employees "two annual company-wide, week-long breaks -- one in July and one in December" in addition to regular vacation time. PwC senior partner Tim Ryan said, "It's a way of saying, 'We want you to take vacations.'"

Vacations increase profit, productivity, and peace of mind but when you work for yourself, taking a vacation can be a big challenge, but there is no shortage of scientific research that it's essential. Here are four suggestions to consider:

1) Make an appointment on your calendar for a vacation in the next six months with someone else to hold you accountable. (Research shows you are 67% more likely to succeed if you have an accountability partner!) If you don't have a family member or friend to go with you, consider inviting another solopreneur who also needs a vacation!

2) If taking a business-free vacation isn't an option at this point, consider combining it with business, which results in an additional bonus of reducing vacation costs. According to the IRS, travel expenses within North America are fully tax-deductible when more than half your trip is spent conducting business. A business day is any day when at least one meeting takes place. If you plan to meet with clients or colleagues for lunch or coffee while you're traveling, you may be able to write off your whole vacation. The key is good recording-keeping!

3) Here's a powerful idea that most solopreneurs never consider: plan for the cost of vacation when you determine your billing rates or owner's draw. For example, to budget for three weeks' vacation every year in a one-person business with no passive income, estimate your business income based on a 49-week year and your business expenses based on 52 weeks. In this example, the drop in your income will be about 6%, so consider increasing your rates by a similar amount. Then put the extra money aside every month in a savings account until it's vacation time.

4) Finally, remember that the planning you are doing for vacation is just good "business planning!" What would happen if you got sick or had a family emergency? Consider hiring a virtual assistant and training them to watch over your business when you are absent. You could draw from skilled and knowledgeable people who don't want or need a full-time job, like students, homemakers, retirees, artists, writers, and musicians.

The key to success in training others to help you is SYSTEMs: (Saving You Space Time Energy Money)™. Productive Environment Institute is here to help! Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom!

Discover the 4 steps to a 4-day workweek with us so you can have a vacation and increase profit, productivity, and peace of mind. Join us for our next Tame Your Paper Tiger Online Workshop. Check the registration link - for the date and time. We'd love to help you develop a plan you can implement and sustain!

Author's Bio: 

In 1978, Barbara took out a $7 ad in a New York City newspaper to advertise her professional organizer business. For 20 years, she focused her business on organizing paper and physical clutter for home offices and organizations. Then the Internet Age came about, and she utilized her principles and expertise to help clients with digital clutter.

Over the past 40+ years Barbara has helped 1000's of companies, and became an icon and top expert in the industry. She has been featured on national media platforms such as Good Morning America, The Today Show and CNN Nightly News. She has also been showcased in publications including USA Today, New York Times, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple and Guideposts.

Barbara and her team teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at