The key to taking time off from your business is definitely all in the prep! If you simply block off some time in your schedule and down tools without preparing, you may find work creeping into your mind more than you wished for. Time off shouldn’t be about reaching for the laptop to Do Just One More Thing.
Spending 10-15 minutes each day in the run up to a Planned Break can be key to a Proper Switch Off.
Set up out of office and inform clients and other key people about planned time off
Dropping on your clients the fact that you are taking time off the day before you leave is not the best idea. Send out an email about your break well in advance, with a clear deadline for any last requests! Add an Out of Office email with clear instructions about what to do in your absence e.g. an alternative person to contact or a link to the FAQ page on your website.
Update online calendar and booking system
Ensure no-one can book with you in your absence. The last thing you want to be doing is cancelling or rescheduling appointments that have been made with you in error!
The easiest way to do this is to block the time in your calendar as an event e.g. Holiday 2nd August – 10th August. Set it as an All Day event and have your calendar synced to your booking system. Make sure the setting is set as ‘Busy’ on the event.
Decide on a focus for your social media content
Whilst you are ‘off’, is there an alternative to booking time with you that you can suggest to your followers?
⭐ Download a PDF?
⭐ Read one of your key blogs?
⭐ Buy a Self Led Training Course?
⭐ Watch a Pre-Recorded Masterclass?
⭐ Explore your Free Training Area?
Plan content in advance accordingly
If you are going to stay consistent, decide now what will be your minimum – e.g. 1x per day, 3 x per week, 1 x per week Social Media posts?
Plan it. Schedule it! (NB: This does not mean you can’t post the odd photo of the fun things you are doing during your Time Off! – who won’t love a selfie of you on the beach with the dogs?!)
You’ve decided already what the focus of your content will be whilst you are away (or off). So, you just need to prepare it and schedule it! If you don’t have a scheduling tool, there are a number of free or low cost options you can utilise.
See if you have some existing content that you can reuse – e.g. an A to Z of tips or a series of posts that are engaging and easy to repurpose.
Could you write and schedule a blog and newsletter which will magically appear during your time off?
Yes, I mean it. Decide on your boundaries before you go away or take your break.
I’m not here to tell you NOT to check your emails or pop onto LinkedIn! But decide in advance what your boundaries will be in regard to these things and try to stick to them.
If something crops up unexpectedly, decide what will be the worst thing to happen if you don’t act/respond.
If not acting is going to eat into your mind and wreck your downtime, sometimes it is actually better to do that 5 minute job.
But that is your call and you need to decide where to draw the line.
Lastly, enjoy some time off this summer and, if you’d like to get clear on what you need to do NOW in order to take a decent break this year, book in for a 90 minute 1:1 with me where we will plan out the actions you need to take to prepare your business for a Summer Break.