Holiday can be hard to think about when you’re feeling a bit swamped.
You want it and are excited about it; you need it; but you may also be tempted to make sure you “use” your holiday time for thinking about the business. Planning. Writing some content.
Actually having headspace seems like a huge opportunity.
The key is expectations. Yours, and your clients’ expectations.
You want to plan what you absolutely will and won’t do when you’re on holiday: and it’s completely your choice how you use it. Whether you do absolutely NO content whatsoever during that time (or no business at all), or whether you use the odd hour here or there to catch up on a few things.
I’m a big fan of the complete switch-off: no email, no Slack, no content writing, no business books even. And I strongly recommend you allow yourself to be bored.
We don’t do enough boredom.
Boredom is at the heart of creativity, because from boredom comes curiosity.
You start thinking about things. Not necessarily work things, although of course that will happen. But just life things. How does this work? What did that person say and what did it mean? Where have you been meaning to travel to but haven’t got round to?
You pay more attention to people. To your family, or those you are on holiday with. Even strangers. You’re more relaxed, chat cheerfully with the person at the hotel desk or the coffee shop or the poolside.
You read and consume different content. Whenever I’m on holiday, I go into a bookstore with a completely different mindset. I pick up something I wouldn’t normally think about – last time I was in Dublin I picked up “How to break up with your phone”, and another trip i bought a big photography book about people who went off the grid and lived in the wild (and took photographs of their journey).
I’m taking two full weeks off at the end of august – my sister and her husband are coming for a long (and i mean looooooong) anticipated trip to Scotland, and we’ll be on two remote islands reminding ourselves of the value of a slower pace of life. I’ve been planning for months how I’ll be disconnected – preparing the team, running trainings and building out our PF Way so everything is well documented, and mentioning it to clients so they know too.
I do believe the complete switch off is necessary at least once or twice a year, but you can certainly consider two options:
1. Decide to do nothing at all. If you decide this, stick to it, and you’ll realise the refreshment you got will enable you to be more productive when you return.
2. Decide that doing some work is OPTIONAL, and create a list of things you’d like to write or create. Remember though, if you don’t get to them, there’s no guilt.
(I wouldn’t even consider a REQUIRED option of content – otherwise what’s the point of a holiday?)
When it comes to your clients, you’ll want to make sure you’ve communicated clearly to them, too. How have you dealt with holidays in the past? How will you deal with it this time?
If you have a team to take care of things when you’re away, it’s simple. Put on the out of office, mention it to a few clients ahead of time, job done.
If you’re on your own, make sure clients know what kind of holiday it is. Are you “off off”, where they can’t reach you at all? What do they do if there’s an emergency of some kind? Will you be checking here and there throughout the time you’re away?
When it comes to social media and going silent, I assure you no one really notices. If you don’t want to specifically say you’re on holiday in Majorca or at a family wedding or whatever, just post that you’re going quiet on social in order to focus on a few things in the business (it’s true, because you’re focusing on yourself, so you have a better business).
What I’d love for you to reply with is:
Where you’re going on holiday, and whether you’ll switch off completely, or create the optional content list?
I’ll be on the Isles of Mull and Skye for the last week in August, and the first week in September! Doing no work at all! Maybe a little sketchnoting though. Just for fun.
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