How to effectively take time off from your business without all the things falling on your head.
One of the main fears that business owners and entrepreneurs have when you take time to check out is that the ALL the balls are going to drop if you step away from your biz.
We all know that an object in motion STAYS in motion (even if you didn’t even HAVE physics – I actually didn’t. Or maybe I just don’t remember it. Those were hazy years. But anyway…) and you’ve all experienced the flip side- once a ball drops, it’s harder to get it BACK in the air than to keep it in the air to begin with.
Do you feel worried about what will happen if you’re not responding to clients as emails come in? Or that if you step away from your biz you’ll lose prospects? Or that it will be much harder to come back to work and get the motivation flowing again if you allow yourself to step away?
- Taking time off from work is super, super important for a number of different reasons.
- You need time off to recharge yourself, to do other things that you love, to spend time with your family and friends.
- You need to take time off to rest to do things that are enjoyable to you that don’t have to do with your business.
- You need time off to REST. To take care of yourself.
- And for the WIN: All of these vastly increase your effectiveness and productivity when you are at work.
Then there’s this not-to-be-missed nugget.
The inner piece of why it’s so important to take time off from your business: if you’re not taking time off ON THE REGULAR it’s generally from what I call a fear-based belief. If you’re not taking time off, 99% of the time it’s because there’s a fear of what will happen or what it says about you if you do take time off.
And any place you are seeing fear-based thinking or fear-based behavior in your business is going to hurt you for a variety of reasons. (If you’ve worked with me before you’re already familiar with the value of working on fear-based beliefs and behaviors-but stay with us anyway.)
If you’re in my community, I’m betting you’re looking for ideal clients who are willing to invest in themselves, right?
To grow your business, you have to be talking to people who are willing to invest in themselves – that’s how they’re comfortable making the decision to invest in you and the services you provide.
When you’re operating from fear-based thinking (whether it’s around how to take time off, or how to set your rates, or how to set your working hours)… when you’re operating from fear-based thinking, you’re operating from a contracted or scarcity mindset -which means you’re also emitting that vibe. (Uh, NO THANK YOU. This is a DEATH MARCH for your biz!)
So if you’re operating from fear-based thinking or behavior, you tend to attract prospects who are also getting stuck in the same places and also having the same fear-based thinking.
And for people who are contracted and shut down you can understand how it’s much harder for them to invest in themselves. Flip side: people who feel really expansive, trusting, and connected to their inner wisdom about what’s right for them find it MUCH easier to invest in support that feels aligned for them, and they UNDERSTAND the value of doing so.
Don’t you want THOSE prospects?
These are some of the obvious reasons why it’s important for you to be taking regular and consistent time off in your business -whether it’s two or three days a week, or big blocks of time- like school vacations if you have kids (or both!).
In my calendar I have three days off a week: I don’t work Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
And then I also take off every school vacation that my kid has so I can be home and available for her (though sometimes I get up and work really early in the morning before she’s awake, because I love working then).
Most recently I took a week off last month, a week in February, 2 weeks in December, and then I take about 2-4 weeks off over the summer and also cut back my hours even during on-biz weeks. That much time off makes me SO much more focused, rested, happy, and present when I’m in a “time ON” phase in my biz! Or even with my clients- on client calls Monday morning I’m ready and present because I took the weekend to CHECK OUT.
I want to lead you through a few first steps of how to make time off in your calendar. If you’ve worked with me or done any of my free virtual weeks, you know when we work together we go really deep into the inner tools and pieces- if this were a one-on-one session we’d be really digging into any fear-based thinking that’s catching you.
But within the scope of what I can offer you via an article, I just want to give you some of the first, logistical, outer pieces.
My number one tool for effectively taking time off in your business without all the balls falling in your head: Schedule it ahead of time.
Every summer when I get the school calendar for the following year I go ahead and I put all of my time off in for the next year.
There will be the occasional day or two that I’ll take off in addition to that, but I have my big block set out ahead of time. So my team and I are always looking a year out at the times where I’m going to be out of my business. That makes it really easy to plan ahead so that I have support in place and my biz doesn’t stop when I’m out of the office-we still have things going out – and we’re not just shuffling stuff around frantically at the last minute.
The second tool for taking time off effectively in your business without things falling on your head: Get help.
When I’m scheduling time off that far ahead, my team knows that I’ll be checked out.
The person who has to be really aware of it is my client care coordinator who is working with me very carefully set up for success when I’m going to be out of the office.
We announce it ahead of time to all my clients – 1 to 2 weeks before I go away she sends a notice out to all my clients telling them that I’ll be out, so if they need me to look at work or to hold their hand for anything, here is the deadline to get it to me before I go on vacation.
And then we clear my calendar and we auto set up anything that might be going out in that time. So I might be out of the office, but there might be a newsletter going out to my community, or a video going out to my membership group, you can see in Tribe of Sacred Rebels (join us here!), the prompts in my membership group still go out, so we set everything up to run really smoothly in my absence…which is pretty awesome because it means that my business is still running but I’m checked out 🙂 I’m reading a book a day and all those things are happening.
Third tool: Pulse-taking (with perspective)
Another tool that’s really important for me to be using while I’m in time-off mode really guides my work when I come back.
Time off allows me space to process and step outside of my business and get perspective- this tool is one I use in a less formal way.
It’s not like I sit and write for hours, I don’t spend a lot of time on this, but I sort of stick my thoughts in a slow cooker in my brain and I let them marinate while I’m off.
For the last week of vacation I had I was thinking about what is feeling good in my business and what doesn’t feel good, where am I feeling stuck- anything that happened in the last month or two that I wanted to let slow-cook to a new solution. And because I was stepped out of my business, I really got some space to think about the things that aren’t working, or the course corrections that I want to be making.
This piece leads to how you come back into your business without the balls falling on your head.
I came back from my last vacation feeling clear- like I’d been dropped back onto the path, I understand where I’m going, and I could see the pieces that I wasn’t able to see as clearly the week before I went on vacation. It led to NO STRESS leading up to coming back- I felt much better and more focused than when I left.
Fourth tool: Set up for success when you return.
This is a tool that I use that makes it a way smoother transition when I come back.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the last day of vacation – (sometimes it starts even before the last day of your vacation) where you start getting anxious and feel a ball of dread in your stomach that you have to come back –like 3000 things are going to hit you Monday morning, or you’ll have a back-to-back day of appointments – not a good feeling.
You never want to come back to days that feel like you’re dreading them- or like when you open a closet door and everything falls on your head. You never want that to happen in your business. You never want to be that closet.
So something that I do to combat that is a day or two before I come back from vacation, early in the morning (because I really like working early in the morning before anyone else is up), I go back into my business for an hour or two: I’ll check some Facebook groups, I’ll follow up on emails, I’ll look up my schedule for that first day back. And that helps me sort of put my foot in the water so I don’t feel like that closet door is opening and everything is going to hit me Monday morning.
Fifth Tool: Plan a light first day.
My first day back is always light. Monday is always my client call day so that’s the day where my schedule is usually really packed, but I make sure that on my first day back from a vacation it’s light.
On my first Monday back from my last vacation I had time to film a video, I had time to take my kid to a dentist appointment, work on a live workshop I have coming up-I made space – so I didn’t get that breathless heavy feeling of, “Oh my God, I’m gonna have to hit the ground running and it’s going to feel awful and I’m gonna wake up feeling already behind.” That’s really something important to avoid.
Sixth Tool: Know when “time on” your business is planned.
If you’ve ever worked with me you’ll know that I teach you how to schedule three things into your calendar: time spent in your business, like dealing with clients doing the work that you do, time spent on your business, which is about anything you’re doing to grow your business – it’s the behind-the-scenes work.
So for me, time spent on my business is planning promotions, writing curriculum, planning content, any strategizing that I’m doing, any writing then I’m doing, blog writing, interviews for different bloggers are podcasts – all that is time on my business.
This is crucial to schedule in because that’s where your growth is. If you don’t have time on your business in your calendar, then what’s happening is you’re probably feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel where you’re just working in your business all the time. No growth. No good.
When I come back I make sure I know when my next block of time on is, so for instance, Tuesday mornings, the whole morning is time spent on my business – I’m not feeling frantic my first day back because a I have a light calendar and I can look at my schedule and see that all morning the next day is sitting in a coffee shop and writing and creating to grow my biz.
So I’m it makes me feel easier because I know I’ve made time for it to happen. I know I made time to come back in slowly and my first day back from vacation I feel pretty good.
In fact my husband and I were talkingthe night before we both went back to work on our last vacation and he was like, “Oh God, I don’t want to go back to work…” -which is exactly how I felt when I had a paycheck job and it sucks.
And I was checking in with myself and realized that I was actually pretty excited to go back to work – I was missing my clients and couldn’t wait to get back online and see how they were doing.
So because I want all of you to be planning time off into your calendar – and if you feel like your business feels really crazy right now it might look like really small amounts of time to start – it might be half a day a week that you’re just like, “OK, screens are gone, I’m not in my business- I’m out. I’m going to do something different.”
It might be that you’ve already created a weekend and you’re like, “It’s time to move to Fridays being half a day.”
You know where you’re at- it’s much more important THAT you’re taking time off then it is the amount of time off that you’re taking.
And when I started I couldn’t take four days off a week- I took I took two days off , since I had a young child that I needed to be attending to, so it was weekends.
But then it changed to weekends and half day on Friday, and then it was weekends and the whole day on Friday.
And then this year I made time to take off weekends and Friday, and most of Thursday is spent on dog rescue. So I’ve made more and more time off as the years have gone by and it has been a process. But it’s really important that you not be dreading time off or dreading coming back to work when time off is over.
And these tools are really going to help you begin to move towards that goal.
Now that you have steps for setting up time off, you want to make sure that you’re using your TIME ON your biz as effectively and productively as possible- getting the results your aiming for allow ever MORE time off!
We’ll work together to create true freedom and growth in your biz using heart-filled marketing techniques that have been around for decades (because they WORK!).