I made a bold promise to myself recently. Namely, that I was going to take a break over the Easter weekend…in its entirety.
I’m genuinely not trying to humblebrag when I say this, but the only ‘proper’ time off I’ve taken since I started my business last June was to recover from a nasty bout of norovirus over the Christmas holiday (you can feel sorry for me if you like, I won’t mind).
So the Easter break has started to represent an sanctuary of calm in a work-filled storm, and though I genuinely love what I do, I’m really looking forward to taking my writing brain offline for a few glorious days. To help keep that bold promise to myself, I’ve come up with a few simple ‘take a break’ strategies.
1. Prepare properly for your break
I’m lucky enough to have work constantly flowing in, which means there’s always something that needs to be done. But there’s nothing worse than taking time off and then spending it worrying about unfinished business.
I take one complete day off each week, and I prepare for that by making sure I’ve met all my pressing deadlines, then writing up a basic schedule for the following week so I feel in control. Hopefully, this method will also see me through the Easter weekend and my two weeks off in June and August – I’ll keep you posted!
2. Be bold – set out your non-work intentions
One of my work-related pet hates are those out of office email replies that explain,“I’m away, with limited access to email”. Does that mean you’re working while you’re away, or not?
I’ll be setting up an out of office email that simply explains a) I’m not working, and b) when I will be working again.
Like most people I’ve got full access to e-mail all the time, I’m just choosing not to look at it.
3. Do what you say you’re going to!
There’s no point in telling everyone you’re not working if you’re going to start calling people and responding to their emails during your downtime. So resist the urge, otherwise you’ll get a reputation for not meaning what you say.
I’ve had many a pointless message from people on holiday about things that definitely could have waited until they got back, and I’m determined not to start sending pointless messages myself (well, at least not until next Tuesday, anyway).
So there it is – my challenge to enjoy this chocolate-coated Easter weekend in full, without checking in with work once. Who’s with me?
(and Happy Easter, by the way!)