Have you ever taken a planned, extended break from your business? I’m talking about more than just a weekend. It can be a scary thing to step away from your business for a month or two without feeling like it will fall apart. It may sound crazy and seem impossible, but I believe that it is not only important but doable, every year.
When we work regular jobs for others, we are given standard vacation days so that we can take a break every now and then. But for some reason, when we work for ourselves it’s easy to forget about those and work all day every day for the entire year. On top of that, you probably are passionate about what you do and genuinely want to wake up every day and work. But in the end, if we don’t stop to take a break, we can quickly spiral into burnout and lose the passion that fuels our business in the first place.
Why you should take a break
I think we both deserve and require an extended break from our businesses every year in order to keep a good balance and maintain margin in our lives. Not only will it be good for you personally, but it will restart that fire that drew you to start your own business in the first place.
After all, I’m sure that part of the reason you started your own business was to have a flexible schedule. And if you don’t take a break, then you’re missing out on a huge benefit of being the boss.
We are only human and can only do so much without breaking down or wearing ourselves out. Hustle is good when done with intention, but too much work can be bad for our health, relationships, and overall well being. Working without a break can lead to stress, overwhelm, and shutting down completely. I’m sure you’ve been there too — I think we all have at some point and we know it isn’t fun. But we can avoid that place altogether by stepping away and coming up for air.
Sometimes we are just overwhelmed by all the noise that’s out there and we just need to look away. It’s the process of looking up from the computer or camera or whatever creative work that is in front of you and taking a deep breath. It’s about getting inspired by the things that are actually in front of you and remember why you do what you do. Taking a break allows you to recharge and refocus so you can hit the ground running again when get back to it.
How you can do it
The first time I took an extended break from my business was when I decided to take a maternity leave with my second baby. Then I did it again with my third. I realized the importance of taking a break and what it did for me and my business while I was gone. It might seem intimidating to step away from your business completely for any amount of time, but I promise it is possible – all it takes is a little planning a preparation.
Taking a break from your business can look like a month-long sabbatical, a week-long vacation, or even a short content hiatus — whatever you need for your situation. But in order to truly step away no matter the circumstances, you need to plan for your break.
Here are a few simple steps you can take before you step out of the office:
I am a planner by nature, and I plan for everything. Planning for a vacation or extended leave is no different. It’s all about thinking ahead and making sure you have everything lined out for the time that you will be off so that you aren’t left feeling scattered and rushed before your leave starts or like you have to jump back into work early to manage chaos.
I suggest making a master list of things that need to be done before your break, as well as a few things that need to be done to make your return easier too. This might look like finishing client work, filling all shop orders, prepping your blog and social media with content, scheduling newsletters in advance, and setting up an auto reply for your email.
Make it known
Taking a break from your business will be much easier if you make it known that you are going to be out of the office for a certain amount of time. You can start to let your team and clients know a couple of months ahead of timeso they know what to expect. You can also make a note on your website contact page so that people are aware of it before contacting you too.
Once you are officially out of the office, you can set up an email auto responder up that tells gives them the details of your break and includes helpful information.
Prep for your return
You probably thought about all the things that need to happen before you can take a break or to keep things running while you are gone, but it’s also good to consider prepping a few things to make your return easier too. There’s nothing worse than taking a break only to return to a mountian of work and instantly feel stressed again. This will look different for every business, but you may need to do some organization so that your return can be less stressful.
Enjoy your time
You are taking a break for a reason, so don’t let it go to waste. It’s important to enjoy your time. Don’t stress out about your business while you are gone. If you took the time to prepare for your leave, it will be fine. Even if you didn’t, it will also be fine. Enjoy the time you have off!
Taking a break from your business can be a little scary, but definitely worth it. Whatever the reason to take a break from your business, it’s possible with a little planning to make things run smoothly.
Planning to take a break from your business? Follow these steps to make your leave easy and enjoyable.
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