Being an entrepreneur can be tricky around the holidays. There's the dichotomy of knowing you need to get work done, and also knowing that you need a break. It's even more difficult when you have two holidays right next two each other - and often in the middle of a work-week - messing up your work mojo.
A recent study by Netflix seems to support this attitude. They had over 5 million viewers watching during New Year's Eve last year, a new record for the video streaming platform. They also found that 70 percent of people reported they preferred to stay in. Most people said going out isn't worth the expense, hassle or stress.
However, thinking this way can be dangerous for entrepreneurs--especially solopreneurs--who have a "startup grind" mindset. Others feel guilty about taking time off of work, and instead, use the day to be productive about coming up with resolutions for the new year.
According to one study, women working more than 60 hours a week are more than three times as likely to suffer heart disease, cancer, arthritis or diabetes, and more than twice as likely to have chronic lung disease or asthma, as those working a 40 hours a week. Additionally, adding even brief diversions into your workweek are shown to increase our overall focus and productivity.
In another study, employees who were forced to take at least one 24 to 48-hour period completely free from work every week, their productivity increased, their overall job satisfaction went up, and their long-term outlook improved dramatically.
So, rather than skipping New Year's Eve entirely, or using it to do more work, here are some suggestions on how to help you recharge - and boost your overall productivity while you're at it.
1. Accept an invitation to go out.
We are becoming increasingly more isolated, which means that it is more important than ever for us to connect on a personal level. Ask yourself when the last time you went out for a non-work reason was. If you can't remember, it's time to get out of the house.
There are so many things going on every New Year's Eve--no matter where you live in the world - it will be easy to find something to do that interests you no matter where you are.
2. Binge watch an old (or new) favorite.
While you may feel like this is the perfect time to catch up on Shark Tank or The Profit, instead try something light-hearted and easier on the brain. In my house, we've had movie marathons on New Year's Eve in year's past of the entire Harry Potter series, all Star Trek movies, all the Star Wars movies, etc.
Netflix has helpfully curated some countdowns with shows such as Fuller House and Prince of Peoria, or you can create something new of your own.
3. Book a staycation.
When you're at home, it's easy to feel like New Year's is "just another night." Booking a night in a hotel or on Airbnb can make you treat it as a special occasion.
Hotels often offer packages for locals, so be sure to check the special offers.
4. Celebrate around the world.
Thanks to social media, we can celebrate the New Year as it happens from Sydney, Australia all the way to Hawaii - and beyond. Like tracking Santa Claus and his sleigh, you can choose to spend the day online watching fireworks in every time zone--and sharing in the fun by chatting to people around the world.
Additionally, you can use the time to message friends and family and wish them a Happy New Year--especially if you've been too busy to do it because of work.
No matter what you do, remember to take time for yourself--whenever you can. Your work and health will be better for it.