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Regardless of how much we love our business, there comes a time when we need a break. And the first time we realise this is usually at the point of burnout. We work so hard, so often that we become physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Keeping up no longer seems possible and it all just becomes too much.
But, if you learn to give yourself regular breaks, you don’t have to make it right to the stage of burnout before you step away. And in fact, more often than not taking a break from your business can actually make you even more productive.
And if the thought of taking a break from your business makes your heart skip, your palms sweaty and makes you want to open even more internet tabs on your computer then never fear. I have some super effective ways to prep yourself and your business for a break and refresh yourself.
It’s All In The Prep
If you haven’t planned and prepared for your break, then of course it’s going to be stressful. But the more prepared you are and the more often you take these breaks, the easier it will all be. Plus, once you start adding more outsourcing and automation to your business you can easily take ‘mini breaks’ of a day or two here and there quite spontaneously without a negative impact.
Plan in Advance
Be sure to check your calendar and try to plan your break in advance. I like to schedule regular mini breaks every month which usually last 3 – 4 days. Because I know when this is going to be in advance, I take this into consideration when planning my content including when I hold my webinars. Giving myself 3 – 4 weeks notice means I’m not stressed at the last minute trying to get everything done.
Be Friendly With Automation
Automation is the key to taking breaks from your business. If you’re still updating all of your social media manually each and every day then it’s no wonder you’re heading down the path to burnout. There’s a big difference between automating your posts and outsourcing your commenting (whether it’s a bot or human). Most people are quite accepting of automated posts now and don’t expect you to be everywhere at once.
Tools like Buffer allow you to fill up a queue of posts to go out at set times and is incredibly easy to use. If you’re planning to be completely offline during your break then simply let your audience know – chances are they’re going to be incredibly supportive of you taking a break anyway.
Otherwise, you can always allow your automated posts to go out and check in on social once a day to answer any questions or comments. It all depends on how disconnected you want to be.
Schedule Posts and Emails
Again this comes down to preparation and advance planning. If you know 3 weeks in advance that you’re going to be taking a break, then it’s easy to add in an additional post to write in that time and schedule it for during your break.
Tools like Zapier allow you to then trigger an automatic post to social media (or even to your Buffer queue) once the post goes live. This means you don’t have to worry about jumping on and promoting your article straight away.
Likewise, if you have a regular email that goes out to your subscribers. Write the email in advance and schedule it to be sent at the right time.
Set Up an Email Autoresponder
Do you receive a lot of email enquiries and the thought of not being able to respond makes you have palpitations? It’s okay. Set up an autoresponder to go out whenever you receive an email explaining that you’ll be away for a few days and therefore there may be a delay in your response.
This gives them an immediate expectation that you will get back to them, but are currently unavailable. So much more professional than not responding at all. They’ll probably even be envious of your escape.
Outsource If You Need To
If you do have tasks that just cannot be automated and cannot wait, then look to outsourcing. A lot of Virtual Assistants (VA) will offer hourly packages and are experienced in many areas of online marketing. This can help alleviate some of the stress you may feel by leaving your business ‘unmanned’.
Relax and enjoy!
The biggest tip of all! There’s no point in taking a break from your business if you’re going to be heads down in your computer all day. Book in a massage or two, make time to take some walks, slow down and enjoy yourself.