Taking a break from your business and why I think it should be done every year
Have you ever taken a planned, extended break from your business? I’m talking about more than just a weekend. 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 talk a lot about margin and whitespace in life and business, and I think we both deserve and require a 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 pet 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. You don't have to take off an entire month; even a week would do you good. 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. And while I could have done it better, 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 like I did earlier this year. 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:
Set your dates
Decide when you're going to officially be out of the office and write it on the calendar. It's good to do this in your offseason or a time of year when you often feel like you want to quit.
Notify your people
Tell anyone that's important that you'll be gone for those dates. Put it on your contact page, email signature, or directly email any clients that need to know you'll be out of reach.
Automate and schedule
Do the work before you go so you can truly rest and relax. Automate and schedule any part of your business that you can like email autoresponders, blog posts, or social media.
Take your break
You've earned it! Now go rest. The key here is to shut off your brain and stop thinking about work or your break will be wasted.