How often do we say that we (micro business folk) are taking some time off or having a break but still check into our emails, respond to messages or otherwise 'just catch up on a few things'? At the very least, most of us probably spend our time off thinking about the business - sounds familiar?
There's a real art to taking proper time away from our businesses and it requires some good planning....but is essential. It's the only way to truly rest our minds and bodies, to let our nervous systems settle down and calm our weary selves.
If you're often failing to switch off or create a day off that means just that, then here's a little checklist to help you!
Book it in! The reason I share this one is that I book in time off if we're planning to go away but that might only be once a year. The rest of the time, I have been known to kinda stumble across a day without meetings and call it a day off....not quite the same. Look across your year and mark out regular intervals when you need time off from the business. A long weekend, a full week or even just regular odd days scattered along the way. Mark them out in permanent ink!
Tell people. It's so important that all the key people you deal with know. Colleagues, team members, clients & customers. Prepare them for some radio silence. We're often THE person in the business and it's all too tempting for folks to quickly message or drop a voice text...make sure they can manage without you and fly free.
Line up your ducks. Don't use your day off as an overflow tank. Nail down all the things you need to do ahead of time off to ensure that you're not accidentally drawn into something while you're having time off. It's all too easy to leave a few tasks, thinking 'ah well, I could quickly do that on my day off' - I've done it myself!
Switch off. If you're a daily social poster, schedule it all in. Let your audience know you're going to go quiet in terms of replying to DMs or commenting. Turn off notifications for your email (auto responder on!), socials and messages. Your business will not fall over, your clients won't run away, it's ok to walk away.
Prepare your mind. Let your brain know in advance that you're not going to be 'doing business' while you're off. Of course, we can often have little ideas and thoughts to note down, but....your brain needs to know that you're not going to be thinking about that invoice, planning next weeks rota or remembering that email you need to reply to! We have to train our brains to settle....