Taking a ‘break’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word. As business owners, we feel like we have to be on it all the time. Don’t most of us start our own businesses because we want that freedom of working when we want to? For me personally, I often take off long weekends at the end of the month, just because I can. Today’s blog post is all about how to take time off as a business owner, knowing your business will not fall apart!
Block the time out on your calendar
The first thing you should do is decide when you want to take time off. Maybe it’s every Friday or a few days a month. The beauty is it can be whenever you want it to be! By jotting it down in your calendar or diary, you’re basically making an appointment with yourself that you’ll be taking that time off. You might have a quieter time in your business or external commitments to plan ahead for. Whatever it is, just block it off!
Be realistic about what you can get done before your break
Do not try and cram in tonnes of work and burnout just before your break. There’s nothing worse than working yourself into the ground. There is a fine line between productivity and burnout and we all have our own levels. If you’re used to burnout, that’s not normal. You need to consider outsourcing, raising your prices or organising your time better. Prioritise what needs to get done and leave the rest until you come back. Sort out your client work or customers first and everything else can probably wait.
Put your ‘out of office’ on
If you’re off for more than a couple of days, I’d recommend putting your ‘out of office’ on for your emails and possibly your social media profiles. If your break is longer than a week, consider popping a banner on your website too. I tend not to bother with my ‘out of office’ unless I’m off for a week or longer. Most clients and customers will understand!
Be strict with your boundaries
If you’re taking a proper break, don’t use your laptop and minimise your phone usage. We’re all on our technology far too much, especially service providers, so take a proper rest away from it all! For me personally, I delete Instagram most weekends and turn off my internet for most of the day too. Boundaries are whatever you want them to be but definitely consider a digital detox.
Schedule any content in advance if you want to
This is something I recommend you do anyway but if you’re taking time off, make sure you have any content scheduled before you finish. Whether that’s social media, newsletters, blog posts, videos or podcasts, try to prep in advance. You should have a content bank of ideas so it shouldn’t take long to get it all set up. Don’t forget about the powers of repurposing content to save even more time. If you prefer, you could stop producing all content during your time off. It’s entirely up to you!
Let clients know
For long breaks, tell your clients when you’ll be unavailable. Instead of them emailing you and receiving an ‘out of office’, be courteous and tell them in advance. I’d at least give them one weeks’ notice but it depends on your service or industry. For retainer clients, they might tag on that work missed to the following month or expect a reduced rate for that month. Discuss it with clients on an individual basis.
Tie up any loose ends
Before you officially take a break, I like to spend some time doing some organisation. My Monday morning CEO routine is usually my time for that but I sometimes move it around if I’m taking some time off. Get on top of your admin and emails, update your calendar and accounts, make sure your processes and systems are all up-to-date and give your office/desk a quick tidy and clean. Trust me, spending an extra hour or two before your break getting everything in order is refreshing when you return. There’s nothing worse than spending an entire day catching up when you come back if everything’s a mess!
Find something to do with your break
Obviously, if you’re travelling away somewhere, this doesn’t apply but if you’re staying at home, fill your time. Make social plans, find a new hobby, visit your local area or have a lazy day. Just make sure you have a rough idea of how you want to spend your time. If you don’t, you’ll end up grabbing your laptop and doing a bit of work. Trust me, I do it often on days off!
Hopefully, if you haven’t had a break recently, you’re now tempted! Because we don’t get paid holidays, we can be wary about stepping back for even just a day or two. If you have plans in place, your business will still be there when you get back! Now you know how to take time off as a business owner, treat yourself to some time off. I’ll be taking a long weekend this coming weekend because month-ends are so much better when you get to relax!
Are you someone who takes plenty of time off or someone who struggles with how to take time off as a business owner? Leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram for more top tips! Considering outsourcing so you can take a break more often? I’d be happy to chat about taking control of your content so why not check out my services and see if I can save you some time?