Every summer I am faced with the same dilemma. I want to spend all my time outside, reveling in the warm air, playing and having fun, but I also need to keep working and earn a living.
When I had a boss and a traditional 9 to 5 it was easy. I’d request days off, get my paid vacation to go play in the sun, and there was a system in place to make sure all of my work projects and tasks stayed on track. Now, I run my own company (and wear many hats). I am much more motivated to work hard to see it succeed, but I still feel called to go camping when June hits.
Then there’s the guilt. What used to be a small feeling I could ignore is now compounded when I take time off work. There’s so much to do, and it’s all on me to make sure it gets done. I can’t be the only business owner who feels like this!
But with great power comes great responsibility and it’s my job to be a good, supportive boss to myself. Not a demanding workaholic. I’ve found that the more I give myself time and space to enjoy summertime fun, the more productive I become. I’m energized, refreshed and motivated to finish my work to go play.
After some experimentation, I have found the precious balance that allows me to feel carefree, like a kid on summer break while still building a business. If you’re looking for a little summer fun follow my three golden guidelines and then hit the beach!
When you’re on you’re on, and when you’re off you’re off
This is BIG. This means if you’re on vacation, or taking an ice cream break, or a late night stroll, you’re officially NOT working. No checking your cell phone, obsessing about clients, or writing emails in your head.
This was a hard one for me to master – my brain was trying to do everything, all the time. It might have felt productive, but it was really causing my brain to short circuit.
During these warm summer months when I’m at work, I am at work. I’m not thinking about my grocery list, or my weekend plans – I am fully and deeply focused on my business.
When my brain is not fully off, I’m not really enjoying the fun times I’m having. No one wants to go camping with the girl who can’t shut up about her blog ideas or next launch. Turning off my business brain lets my heart and soul get the nourishment they need to make me a better business owner, and boss.
It’s ok to automate
I know there’s a lot of pressure to be authentic and not seem like everything is on autopilot, but you can absolutely write blogs in advance. You can set it up to go out without you having wi-fi access. When I’m taking time off, there are certain wheels I like to keep in motion. Knowing what those are for your business, then learning how to use an automation tool to help you when you’re at the beach is a win-win.
Block a few Fridays off
The summer will be gone before you know it, and having some blocked adventuring time on your calendar will make sure you don’t miss out. It’ll encourage you to untether from the computer and go enjoy the world. It’ll give you the time and space to decompress and energize you for the next week. I find I’m always more productive when I know I have less time to do things (use that pressure)! Come to think of it, maybe I’ll do this during the Fall as well.
Which strategy do you like the most? Are you going to take a few Fridays off? Automate a bit, or uninstall your mail application on your phone? Did this spark another idea in you that you’ll implement this summer? Take a few minutes right now to plan out your summer and game plan how you’re going to get your nourishing free time in while still growing your business.
I’d love to hear about your experiences and breakthroughs in the comments!
Photo via Death to the Stock Photo