Because I love work
I love to work. And I love my work. The many nights I’ve stayed up until 2 am can attest to that. Luckily, those nights are behind me now! But being an entrepreneur still means a lot of my business relies on me physically being able to do work. So whether I’m taking a day off during the week, a week off for vacation, or maternity leave for my baby, it still requires a lot of planning to schedule time off. Here’s how I schedule time off as an entrepreneur!
I’ve always been really proud of myself for knowing how to take time off for myself. And last year, I took about four months off after having my son! And let me tell you, I was very strict about that. I said no to my cousin when he needed help. I said no to my mentor when she needed help. I had a strict “no work” policy during maternity leave. I don’t stay up past 10 pm working anymore. I give my family that time. I don’t work when my kid is awake. I only have a babysitter for about 4 hours a week.
My time is my most valuable asset. And it shows in my work.
So here are some concrete ways, to schedule time off as an entrepreneur!
How to schedule time off as an entrepreneur
Make a schedule, and stick to it
I’m not here to point fingers and say you have no integrity, but if you start by making a schedule, please have the integrity to stick to it!!! I know things come up. And know plans change. But if you get in the habit of sticking to a schedule, I promise you, your business will be transformed!
I use the “Better at Time, Better at Life” worksheets from Abbey Kyhl in her BluePrint course. I thought I was pretty good at sticking to a schedule before I started these. But they’re honestly such a game changer for me!
No matter what tools you use to stick to your schedule, the actual doing of the task, will be the biggest thing! So stick to it!
Schedule time off FIRST
Don’t scramble to get the time off when a birthday party comes up. Don’t schedule time to work on the weekends if you know you’re going to be sad missing time with your family! Block the time off! This is one of the greatest things about being your own boss, dangit! YOU are choosing your schedule! So look at your schedule and decide! For me, Sundays are non-negotiable! I need a break from work. Even work that doesn’t require that I’m talking to other people (like blogging, schedule things, etc). Sunday is my family and religious day. Period.
I also know that I DO NOT WANT to work the week after or before Christmas. Too many parties, too many people in town, to feel bad about taking a meeting when I could be at a bouncy house park with my family.
My family also has a ton of birthdays in April, so we have a pretty strict vacation time one week in April! I know looking ahead, that I’ll be working at least one week less in the month of April. And that’s a big deal for someone in my shoes! All in all, I really only take about 4 weeks off each year total. That’s not a lot! But it’s taken at the right time, and it’s scheduled before anything else.
Batch work, batch work, batch work
I am probably the biggest fan of batch working. Sometimes I’ll be playing with my kid, and instead of being fully present, my brain starts to wander. And it starts to think about clients and money and then Instagram. INSTAGRAM, people. My beautiful, happy, giggling baby is right in front of me finally playing with a book that I’ve been trying to get him interested in for a solid year and I’m wondering what the h*ck I’m gonna talk about on an app.
Then I re-focus, forgive myself, and remember that I don’t have to worry about Instagram. I don’t have to worry about it because it’s not the first Friday of the month. Wanna know what I do on the first Friday of every month that makes it so I don’t have to worry about Instagram each and every day? I batch work. I plan and schedule my Instagram out for the entire month until the next first Friday of the month comes around.
I save myself hours and heartache just by taking two hours a month and batch working my Instagram. And anything that can be batch worked honestly. This blog post was written at the same time as a few other blog posts because it makes more sense to sit down and login and blog all at one time instead of coming up with one topic at a time, blogging about it, making the graphic for it, and promoting it.
So when it comes to taking time off, I don’t have to worry about my daily tasks because they’re already taken care of as long as I’m sticking to my schedule!
Have people you trust in your corner
When I went to the Bahamas earlier this year, I had my own social media and a few clients’ social media that I was in charge of. But I didn’t know how much service I would have or how much I’d really want to be on my phone. I basically needed to be able to unplug and schedule time off as an entrepreneur. It was our first vacation alone after having our first baby and honestly, I needed some time and space to connect with my husband again.
But my clients were also counting on me. They needed stories published four times a week as I’d promised. And I was going on vacation, so I couldn’t just put off making money. I needed all the money I could get for all those virgin margaritas I was sippin’ on!
This was before I had hired anyone on my team. It was still a solo gig. BUT I knew the team was going to be starting soon! I offered her a week’s worth of money to post on my clients’ stories for me. I gave her the login, what to post about, and told her to text me if she had any questions, but know that I may not get back to her for a few days.
You guys, Jamie crushed it. And she’s still crushing it on the daily proving awesome, engaging stories to our clients! But it first started when I just needed a little help for one week so I could take some time off!
And by all means, when you’re ready to save yourself hours of time each week, make sure to hire a competent virtual assistant! We have a whole team of amazing workers ready to be in your corner! Contact us to get on our schedule to start working together!
This goes along with batch working pretty well. But here are some tools I use to pre-schedule so you can take schedule time off as an entrepreneur!
Planoly for Instagram
Tailwind for Pinterest
17Hats for contracts, bills, etc.
Calendly for scheduling meetings
Have an emergency plan
This is something that used to scare me, really bad. What if I got sick, what if my family got sick, what if an emergency happened? I still need my business to run, and my employees to get paid.
Automation has been a big part of that. But I’ve also taken the time to write out and train some of my employees to take over if worse comes to worst.
Tell people you’re OOO
Do your clients know that you’re unavailable? THEY SHOULD. Don’t leave them in the dark!
Setup an email response, wait to take them on until after your time off or tell them well ahead of time that you’re going to be gone. Better yet, take them on as a client and finish their work with that as your deadline! I did that with the birth of my son. I tried to be done with everything with at least a month left in my pregnancy so that if he came early, I wasn’t scrambling to finish anything or disappointing my clients.
I hope these tips helped you, as much as they’ve helped me! And you should enjoy being an entrepreneur and take off as much time as you can!