How to prepare for taking time away from your business

Work life balance isn’t my thing.
I’m so in love with the businesses I’ve built, I find it a total struggle to stop sharing that love with the people who I’m serving.

 

In saying that, I know all too well that taking proper time out is essential to produce high quality work and be productive 5 ways to be more productive In doing that.

 

As you’re reading this, I’m packing my bags for a 3 week trip to the UK, Paris and Japan, (YAYY) so I’ve had to get really clear on HOW to leave my businesses alone and exactly how it’s all going to run whilst I’m away.

 

You’re probably thinking ‘that’s fine for you Sal, you this whole team behind you but it really isn’t like that. My contractors work for me as and when I need support, but if I’m not working myself, I can’t delegate the everyday tasks I usually send them to focus on.

 

Blog post: How you know when it’s time to hire someone.

 

Full disclosure: I just did a 36 hour work day and was sat with my duvet at my desk to meet a magazine deadline (those things don't sleep). Time management this week went out of the window and I totally admit to being suckky.

 

Social media gives us the skewed perception that everyone around you is holidaying to exotic places and going on amazing adventures whilst you’re over here GRINDING. Let me clear that up. For the few travel bloggers that get to go to all the fab places, believe me, they’re hustling whilst they are there. Think of the effort that has gone into that content creation that’s jamming up your feed, alongside all the other stuff they’re doing. HARD WORK. You are not the only one who feels they can’t swan around to beautiful hotels, but what if you want to? Or NEED to for the sake of your mental?

 

It’s important you know how to plan for these breaks so you can take medical / maternity / sick leave OR just a fabulous well-deserved adventure WITHOUT FEAR that your business is going to come crashing down. I promise that isn’t going to happen with proper planning.

 

Here are my top three tips to plan for a work break. You need to do it for your stress levels.

 

BATCH WORK

Batch work your content calendar and schedule your posts in advance. Group similar tasks together (such as healthy meal prep, content creation, content scheduling and so on).

 

Read about batch working and why I love it on this blog post -  5 ways to be more productive.

 

Example of batch-working: This is one of six blog posts I’ve written in today to plan for my break. My phone is on aeroplane mode and I’m walking around the Sydney Botanic Gardens typing into Asana so it’s ready to be pasted into my WordPress site when I hit the office. They will ALL then get scheduled (see Point 2) to go live on different dates, with this one going out whilst I’m blissfully packing my bags to get on the plane.
Which brings us nicely onto...

 

AUTOMATE

You don’t have to leave your audience whilst your away. You can thank the power of automation for that! Utilise the digital tools we have at our disposal to give you presence with your squad, without actually being present at your computer. Scheduling tools whilst your actually drinking a glass of red on the beach.

 

Specific apps I use to schedule my content are:
  • Asana - to write out all my content ideas and assess the best time for these to go live.
  • Coschedule - for sharing Blog posts to socials
  • PLANN - for panning out the look of my instagram feed.
  • Tailwind - for sharing my planned-out content at optimum times to both Instagram and Pinterest so that you get the most traffic and eyes on your good stuff.
This will free up your head space in a really big way and actually allow to be present instead of worrying about taking photos or being absent from social media.

 

PREPARE YOUR CLIENTS

If you provide a service (you clever thing you) or have physical products that need delivery to stores or wholesalers, put a note in your email signature at least a month before to let them know the dates you’ll be away and be crystal clear you won’t be communicated in those time frames. Like ‘I will be off-the-grid from DATES to DATE and will not have access to emails or be taking calls. If you have any questions, please contact me before I go otherwise I will tackle your request on my return’.

 

Don’t forget to set your auto-responder saying your out-of-office and link to your FAQs page or resources so that they can self-serve and potentially get some answers.

 

Tip: I always drop notes on social media in the lead-up too, sharing my excitement for said break.

Key takeaways:

  • Group your tasks into batches and set aside time in your calendar to work through them efficiently.
  • To truly disconnect, automate your content posting so you can connect with your squad without actually being connected.
  • Fore-warn clients and give them an opportunity to raise questions before you go on leave.
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Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also writes for national health magazines, has launched a range of Protein Ball Mixes: Fit Mixes, and is the author of Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017).

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