Why I didn’t want to stay in touch with my business whilst on my family holiday this year.
Taking a 2-week holiday at the start of the summer is not a new thing in our house, however taking a break from my business and making the conscious decision to disconnect from my email, social media and all client work was.
It was something I felt would not only benefit me and my family, but my business too. Here’s the story of why I did it, what it was like, and how I feel now.
Back in June when the weather was blistering and every day we woke to huge blue skies that seemed to reach for miles, I had this dream of being able to take 2 weeks away from my business whilst on our family holiday. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to completely switch off and zone out “work,” however for me I needed some time out to refresh my creative mind and revive my tired self.
As the weeks passed and the summer holidays loomed ever nearer, the date for our holiday abroad was in my sights. I set about making preparations and plans so that come the end of July, I could pack my case, switch my out of office on and hot foot it to the airport without looking back.
It took some planning, and some long days and late evenings to make it all happen, and at one point I did question whether I could do it. With everything to wash, iron & pack, the house to get in order, school events to attend and my business to organise to the point where I could happily leave it for 2 whole weeks, I knew it was a big ask.
Writing this after the event, I can reveal that I did in fact make it to the airport, safely with the family in tow and with a huge smile on my face. The laptop never left my office, all work paraphernalia stayed at home, and my phone barely left the hotel safe for 10 days. As a result, there was a limit to what I could do, and it was my way of giving myself permission to switch off and recharge the batteries.
I can’t say I wasn’t tempted to pack all my notebooks, so I could write and ruminate over content ideas for my clients blogs whilst sat on my sun-lounger, however it was only going to be 2 weeks, I was coming back.
Needless to say it wasn’t easy to step away, mostly because I love what I do, and I love that I have created a business doing something that brings such joy and freedom into my life. There is however no getting away from the fact that it is work nevertheless, and as much as I love it, I love other things too.
…… social media took a back seat
It would have been very easy for me to prepare and load up my social media channels with content so that it looked as though I was busy working, when I was in fact having a cheeky mid-afternoon Pina Colada at the swim-up bar. However I knew I would have wanted to comment, reply and engage with those who had taken the time to read and write on my posts in real-time, and the fact of the matter was that I didn’t want to be tied to checking notifications, writing responses and getting involved with all that stuff.
I wanted screen-free time, so that I could focus all my attention on having a wonderful holiday with my guys. I wanted to embrace the slower, more gentle pace a holiday has to offer, where there is no set agenda, having lazy days that simply amble along.
…… out of office set to reply
It can feel as though there is no escape from email and the digital world with free Wi-fi readily available at holiday resorts abroad. The Wi-fi was amazing where we were staying, which meant the boys could stream You Tube and watch videos when it was time to take a break from the sun. I could have replied to the emails or messages that had landed in my inbox, instead I set my out of office to reply, and aligned all my client projects so that they were at a stage where I could confidently leave them and yet still meet the deadline once I was back.
Choosing to stay out of reach for 2 weeks took some commitment, and yet the impact of simply disconnecting was amazing. I found myself in a different head space, having given myself permission to step away and take time out.
…… unplugged and alive
As you may have already guessed I made the conscious decision to not work remotely and to leave my business neatly wrapped up at home. I completed all the tasks I needed to do before my departure date, sending content, files, invoices etc. out before I left the country. Choosing to unplug and go analogue was so refreshing. I would either pick up my journal to write or my book to read most days, it was somewhat liberating and has helped to inspire my creative mind in a different way.
Choosing to dedicate 2 weeks of my life to connect with my family, those who stand by me, encourage and believe in me, and to take a break from my business wasn’t a difficult decision in the end. They need me and I most definitely need them to help me as I continue to learn and grow as business owner.
My business grew out of a desire to achieve harmony, not only for me and my health and wellbeing, but harmony in my home, with those whom I cherish and love deeply. By simply taking a short break away, I feel completely refreshed and ready to go again.
Putting some distance between me and my business has also given me the opportunity to re-evaluate where I want to focus my efforts and to set some goals for the rest of the year. It has also given time to reflect on my first year in business and to think about all the wonderful connections I have made in that time.
I will be back soon with another blog about the Being Truly Me story, until then it’s over to you, how do you manage to take a holiday from your business? Is it possible? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you.
Until next time, don’t forget to press pause occasionally and be truly you!