Some days you have to grab your overwhelming To-Do list, crumble it, and escape to the beach.
Who’s with me?
Well, if you’re anything like me, you probably have the hardest time stepping back from your business to take a much needed vacation. We’ve been trained by society that your level of busy-ness equates to your level of success. You may think taking time for yourself to take a vacation will cut into your level of busy. Thus, you’re probably afraid of how one simple week away will affect your business. Spoiler alert: These thoughts are only hurting yourself.
What was the reason you took the leap to start your own business in the first place? I know what mine was. It’s probably the exact same reason why you started yours.
There’s a lot of different types of freedom that I wanted with having my own business. To be honest, I wanted the control of my own schedule. I wanted to be able to travel with my husband whenever we wanted. I wanted to have the creative freedom to explore my dreams. But most importantly, I wanted to set the foundation to one day be there for my future family like my mother was there for ours. Like the wise women Jasmine Star once said, I would have rather seen myself fail at something I loved than succeed at something I hated. I didn’t want to look back on my life and wonder, “What if?”
But, isn’t it funny how we started our businesses for more freedom yet we can’t make ourselves take a tiny step back? Better yet, we can’t take a tiny step back for ourselves. You’ve invested your entire self into your business, and you can’t loosen the reins. You’re glued to your phone and your email. You can’t separate yourself from your business anymore. Why do you spend your life worrying about things that might not happen? Why don’t you choose to worry less and live more?
It’s time to get back to the root, the ‘why’, behind your business.
Ever since we moved to Georgia, we’ve been constantly on the go. However, with our upcoming trip to the beach, I decided that I wanted to use the trip to intentionally slow down. I wanted to use the trip as an opportunity for rest as well as an opportunity for inspiration. My goal was to be able to have the freedom to step away but the choice to check-in. I decided to channel my business’s philosophy to Plan Well, and Party Often.
So how can you plan well in order to celebrate the little things in life like quality time with your loved ones on a vacation? Lucky for you, I’ve got some tricks and tips on how to plan ahead so you can intentionally slow down during a time of rest.
Shoot and Schedule Content in Advance
The thought of scheduling social media content may seem un-authentic to some people reading this. You may even be reading this and wonder how it’s possible to schedule that much content in advance. I mean, I get it. I usually have problems sometimes figuring out what to post in a given day. But, I strive to have an authentic brand, and I’m here to tell you that you can be authentic in scheduling your content.
The problem with social media is it keeps us tied to our phones. However, the whole point of intentionally slowing down is living in the moment. That’s really hard to do when you’re scrolling through your phone looking for the perfect photo. Or better yet, stuck thinking of the perfect caption to your Instagram photo. I use Planoly and Hootsuite to schedule my social media content. However, I don’t always use it the way you’d think.
I have a general idea of the type of content I’d like to post given the date (like Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day!) or my blog schedule. However, as you can see, there’s a lot of white blanks / placeholders with no photos in my schedule. I may have an idea on the type of content I’d like to shoot or even a gist of the caption I’d like to post that day. But, it allows me to still be in the moment and authentic – especially when I need to be at the beach for beach photos! By knowing what kind of content I’d like to post, I can plan well ahead of time by shooting some content before I leave as well as knowing exactly the photos I want to take for my feed when I arrive.
Call me crazy, but I like to plan.
Write Content in Advance
Unlike social media, I always plan my blog content at least a month in advance. Rather than pay for a content calendar like I do for my social media outlets, I just utilize Google Calendar. I tend to schedule content around what’s going on in my life – whether it’s events, weddings, or even the season. Google Calendar makes it easy to schedule, drag around, and visually see my posting schedule and order of topics. It also helps me to know what content is scheduled to come up, so that I can be brainstorming prior to actually writing my content.
I’m a firm believer that a dead blog is worse than no blog. Writing quality content takes thought and time – the same thought and time that will be somewhere else when you’re on vacation. If you prefer to keep a consistent posting schedule like me, consider taking extra time to write quality content before you leave. Even if it’s less content than you may usually push out, your followers will thank you for it. Not to mention, you won’t be stressed about finding time to blog while you’re suppose to be intentionally slowing down.
Don’t be afraid to tell people that you’re going to be out of the office. The decent people of this world actually want you to be able to have a vacation. They know you work hard at what you do. Plus, everyone loves vacations. Most importantly though, telling people that you’ll be out of the office will give them a heads up of what to expect regarding communications or content while you’re gone.
One tip I have would be to set up an out of office auto responder through your email. Especially if you’re like me and pride yourself on trying to respond to all emails within 24 hours, it will limit that feeling of needing to be constantly attached to your phone and email. While you can always answer pertinent emails in a timely fashion, those who email you will have the expectation to wait a little bit longer for a reply. People love being in-the-know, but they love it even more when you over-deliver.
This is pretty much self-explanatory. But, too many times I see business owners come back from their trips stressed about ‘catching up’ on the work that they left behind. To be honest, they probably spent their vacation worrying about the work they were returning to. How is that fair to yourself? Intentionally doing a little extra each day in order to get ahead will allow you to avoid the stress of the ‘catch up’ when you return to the office. While it may be a little overwhelming before you leave, I promise your margarita in hand will be thanking you in that beach chair.