Being an entrepreneur and working for yourself provides ultimate lifestyle freedom but it also means that you have to be twice as dedicated and more hard-working than you would be at a traditional job where you have to answer to someone else. Being your own boss means that you have to effectively manage yourself.

Are you going to fire yourself when you slack on the job? I sure won’t fire myself but I try to set up clear goals and find ways to stay motivated and on track without having to beat myself up for occasionally slacking. It’s all about productivity through accountability and creatively rewarding oneself for completed tasks.

When you’re a hard-working individual it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Everyone needs an occasional break to avoid becoming a slacker, however, it’s often difficult or even downright impossible to take vacation days when you’re self-employed. On the contrary; depending on the industry in which you work and how you manage your time, you could be living a lifestyle that’s akin to a permanent vacation. It all comes down to how much you love what you do and what you consider as being a vacation. I know that if you love what you do, like me, you could conduct business even while on vacation and still consider it a really amazing break.

Yesterday, I posted a set of animated GIFs of Jim Carrey, containing quotes on the importance of doing what you love. When you are doing what you love, work doesn’t feel like work — You’re basically getting paid to do what you love. This could be considered a permanent vacation, or even an early retirement lifestyle, where you’re going about your day on your own schedule, doing what you love, and getting paid for it. But it can also be very stressful at times, especially since you are in charge of everything and accountable for everything that happens in your life. Sometimes it’s important to take a real vacation — to break away from everything completely, including the work that you love to do, even if only for a day or two. You wouldn’t want to burn yourself out or start to resent your work now, would you?

I’ve decided to start scheduling monthly vacation days, where I break away from everyone and everything including the internet, my computer and smartphone, for two days each month, during the first or last weekend of the month. These frequent but short vacation days should provide enough relaxation that will enable me to stay productive and dedicated to doing the work that I love, without resentment.

I’d love to hear how other entrepreneurs stay motivated and productive and whether or not vacationing plays a big role in the self-employment arena. Are you self-employed? How do you keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed or feeling burnt out? Do you use a vacation as a means to prevent slacking? Do you take one long vacation every year, or short but frequent vacation days?  Leave a comment below…

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