top of page

Stop Feeling Guilty For Taking Time Off – Follow These 5 Tips

Written by: Alice Dartnell, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I get it. As a busy entrepreneur you have the urge to keep going, doing more and more. There is no safety net of a monthly salary, your results are a direct correlation to what you put into your business, and you’ve probably grown up in a culture (like I have) that you have been told that you have to work hard and hustle your way to success!

Take a Break sign on  a night light.

I know you’re passionate about your business and what you do, but you also probably want to create a great life as well as creating a large income.

So how about we drop the guilt of taking time off?

This is something that I used to struggle with myself. I felt so guilty for taking time away from the business and not working. Something would always pull at me – that little nagging voice in my head – that made me believe that I had always to be working on it!

Luckily for me, I have managed to quiet that voice now, and I would love to share my tips with you. As a time management and energy management coach working with busy business owners, helping them build a business without burnout, I know the importance of being able to take time off guilt-free!

I have seen first-hand that you can take time off away from your business, and guess what, it doesn’t come crashing down around you in a ball of flames! In fact, your business is likely to do better as you’re more focused, productive and you haven’t got yourself into a situation where you are so overworked that you end up resenting the business!

Adopt these five tips to start enjoying time off as a busy entrepreneur… without the guilt

1. Use a different term to “time off”

Language plays a huge part in how we perceive things so if you struggle with the term “time off” then maybe a reframe will help? The term “off” isn’t going to help you if you are already feeling guilty for taking time away from your business is it! One way is to change it to align with the reason that you are taking that time out. For example, I like to see it as a way to recharge my batteries which feels less ‘self-indulgent’ so I don’t have to feel guilty for it! So rather than saying terms like “day off” or “time off”, I use language like “recharge time”.

2. Question what productivity really is

Of course, in order to achieve results and the success we want to see in our business, we need to be productive! Success doesn’t create itself! However, we need to question what ‘productive’ means. For me it is about producing amazing results that edge me forward to my ultimate goals – it is NOT about doing everything!

When we aim to do everything, of course we are going to feel guilty for taking time away from work! But focus on the main things that need doing (aka the real needle movers) and balance that out with time away from work. When we operate and think like that, we can drop some of that guilt!

3. Schedule it in

Procrastination often sets in simply because you need a break! It is not because you’re lazy, addicted to social media or lack motivation or passion! Beat procrastination by planning in downtime so you take your breaks and recharge those batteries before your mind or body force you! Plus, at the same time, you can drop the guilt of taking time off because you have scheduled it in! Plan in your recharge time, vacations, socialising and time to relax like you would your meetings and appointments!

4. Working hard does not mean long hours

Somehow, we have had it drilled into us that the only way to be successful is to work long hours. But long hours are not the same as working smart. In fact, it could be detrimental as the longer we work, there becomes a decline in our quality (that’s the Law of Diminishing Returns for you!)

When you appreciate this and apply it to your day-to-day and work, you can start to drop the guilt about not working 24/7!

5. Be intentional with it!

When you finally give yourself a chance to take time away from the business, don’t ruin it by not being present in the moment! If you are not physically working but still thinking about work or worrying, then you might as well not be taking that time off and popping open the laptop and working properly. As a time management and energy management coach, I always advocate this tip but it applies even more so when taking time off guilt free… be intentional!

This means, be intentional with your time away from the business. Choose ahead what you want to do, know what really recharges your batteries, be present in the moment and fully enjoy it. It could even be as simple as saying to yourself, ‘right, for the next 20 minutes, I am shutting off my phone, grabbing a coffee and quietly sitting and reading for a bit’. Our attention goes to where we direct it, so be intentional with everything you do, including your time off!

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Alice Dartnell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Alice Dartnell is a time management and energy management coach, trainer, speaker, and author, who is passionate about empowering people to create a life by design, not by default! Known as an expert in time management and energy management, Alice doesn’t teach time management in the traditional sense. Instead, she focuses on the importance of energy management and mindset as the way to improve time management. Alice believes that time management actually isn’t about managing time! Instead, it is about managing you, other people, your tasks and most importantly, your energy! She works with individuals on a 121 basis, as well as through programmes, workshops, and courses. Additionally, she delivers training to org



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page