Question: can you take a vacation or hiatus when you're in that first year of growing and building your business?
Well, lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the joy of taking a summer hiatus.
Time off to be with the kids, the family, etc. to recharge, renew, etc. Drink Mai Tai’s at 11:50 AM.
I even got sucked into thinking I might actually be able to take one myself.
For about ½ a day I was entertaining the idea of hanging up the we'll be back soon sign and disappearing from the internet.
Not to say I don’t NEED some uninterrupted time OFF.
And I'm sure you do too, right?
Now, knowing that many of you are just starting your businesses, I bet you feel like you can’t take that time off either. Did you know that there is a way to get that lighter load? You know, just a little extra space here and there to give you that rested, recharged feeling you get from take a real vacation? Believe it.
So you can’t take a break now but still need some downtime ?
If you are ready to get the benefits of a hiatus without risking the growth of your business, read on.
Before you close up shop, you need a solid plan so you won’t lose the traction or momentum you’ve been building in your business over the past few months… And you definitely don’t want to come back to a plate of overwhelm that has you trying to play catch up.
Here’s the 1-2-3 Take A Break plan to make it happen:
Disclaimer: This is my plan really – so if your business differs at all – then you need to find your bare minimum to keep your business running, still get that feeling you have a break, and not lose the eyes of your new audience. I did it in December before a family vacation – and I'm doing it again right now to prep for month ahead.
Ok … here it is. Brace yourself. It's THAT simple.
- Write all blog posts, newsletter, and any other broadcasts in advance.
- Reschedule any webinars/interviews/clients until August.
- Write & Schedule 2 social media posts per day – but plan to post on SM as you go along.
Ok – so that seems pretty easy right? Content takes the longest for me – even though I love creating – and knowing that it’s roughed out or finished will be amazing and lighten my load big time!
Here’s how these easy steps give you that summer vacation feeling:
- You won’t be stressed out about your regularly scheduled blog posts – You may still end up revising it after you write the post, but at least the bones of the posts will be done.
- Focus on the other responsibilities you CAN’T do in advance. If you have a day job, it may even feel easy during July – simply because you aren’t trying to fit in your own business’ work too.
- Take days off throughout the month – as needed – go on day trips, take impromptu vacations, enjoy this scaled back mode. This is a must, so make sure you plan some long weekends, early days out of the office, or even random days playing hookie!
- You won't lose connection with your audience. When you’re just starting a business, it’s important to be consistent in your communication. So – disappearing isn’t very practical. Since I’m planning to re-launch a program in August, I need to stay present and engaged. Instead of all day long social media grazing, I’ll spend a little time at the beginning and end of every day checking social media…or do one better and only check in once a day.
So here’s what I want you to do right now:
Open up your calendar and review your work/business/life schedule for the next 2 months.
List out all the posts/emails you were planning to write, any clients you have scheduled, any projects happening at work (if you have a day job).
Now – take your blog posts/emails list – and write the topics you need to write for each one. Add a day or 2 day period where you can rough out or write everything. Add another day and time where you’ll go back review/revise the posts.
Make sure all your written work is chunked into a few days to complete and give yourself the time to come back for revisions. Then, schedule it in wordpress, aweber, mailchimp, hootsuite…whatever you use. Step back and breathe a sigh of relief.
Next – see if you can reschedule your clients. If this is your only gig – maybe you need the money. I would still consider rescheduling them for the very beginning or very end of the month or chunking them together.
Finally – take a look at 2 months in the future. If you’ve got nothing launching the next month – you may actually be able to scale back more than I did!
Keep in mind – this is an extremely simplified plan to get some vacation during summer when you’re just starting your biz, but I did that on purpose so you can tailor it to your needs.
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Leave a comment below and let me know how you’re going to make room for “vacation” this summer!
This was really useful information! I’ve been noticing a lot of people taking hiatuses this year, and I really don’t have the ability to do that right this minute. Things are really starting to gear up for me. But I love the idea of putting things on auto for a little bit, so you’ve got some more time to play with family & relax. And thanks to Buffer, I’ve got some help with social media automation. 🙂
I agree Amanda – things are gearing up for me too. I’m happily busy, but by doing this, I can easily take a day or 2 off when I want because I’m only cancelling out on one job, not 3!!! Thanks for stopping by!
Lisa Stoops says
This is definitely food for thought! The more I can streamline and do things in advance (with those awesome auto scheduling features) the better. I have made plans to unplug twice this summer and have already scheduled it in. Plus I am have made sure that the family and I go out on one day venture per week which means NO work for mom! 🙂
Yes yes yes! I love it Lisa!
It’s really important to do this to recharge (and drink Mai Tai’s at 11:50am. Or earlier.). I’m taking a month off this summer to hang at the beach and do nothing except play and relax with my 3 year old (and drink Mai Tai’s, lol!). It’s just that I’ve got to make the time to actually plan it out and so this post came at the perfect time for me! I use a productivity planner series that I found online for my blogging and campaigns – just gotta take that chunk of time and get things organized.
Love that you listed it out as a step x step! Thank you!
Hillary Rubin says
perfect timing… after I get all the rest of the stuff done. how will I serve the world if I take time off??? Universe is supporting this and about to go for it. thanks lady!
Girl, you and me both. I’m thinking I might need to buy a few skinny girl margaritas for the summer. I fully plan on taking days off – and will be blocking those days off this weekend. Cheers to you for taking the time off too! Thanks for stopping by! -Anne
Hillary – I’m taking summer back! This is my last summer with Mila in full time daycare/preschool…so I gotta use it while I can. I’d rather redefine how and when I take time off – and make sure I say when it’s time! You go girrrl! xoAnne
This was just what I needed to read today. I was just whining to a friend yesterday about wanting to go see my son in Berkeley. Then I said I wanted to just go to the coast for 2 days with my husband and our dog (Athena the Wonder Dog). (It wasn’t really whining it was therapeutic groaning ;)!)
I think it is important to take days off, however, I tend to want to just keep taking them off and that doesn’t work so well either…so lightening the load seems like a good alternative at the moment. I do try to set time aside for little enjoyments–something to look forward to–something to lose myself in. I know I’m spending too much time working when I think “I think I’ll take a break and do the dishes!!!!”
I very much like the idea of working a little harder so I can work a little less–I just have to remember to get the “little less” part in there.
I really enjoyed this post today. Synchronicity. 🙂
Great post Anne – this is so important. I am not very good at doing it however with 2 small kids and a family business as well as my site, but it we are taking more and more short breaks (as we both have Fridays off) and the odd longer trip. These tips are great though !
Joyce M Washington says
having all kinds of “d’oh, why didn’t I think of that” moments throughout this post. So I CAN take an extended vacation??? hahaha. In the plans/works now… thanks!
Time for some pompoms, popcorn and pom-tinis!
And – taking on that pre-vacation mindset actually allows you to get a ton of stuff done in a short period of time. amazing! Thanks for stopping by Joyce 🙂
Thanks Donna! I’m already planning some long weekend getaways…It’s so hard with even one kid…I can’t imagine 2! Thanks for stopping by!