How to take a holiday when you work for yourself

Hooray, it’s summer! Time for holidays, right?! Well, maybe if you can take paid annual leave with your employer, but not necessarily if you work for yourself. If you run a small business, this could be the busiest time of year with people looking for Christmas gifts or experiences, and your business may be open extended hours to cater for late-night shoppers.

But take heart – you CAN still have a holiday. You just have to plan carefully…

How to take a holiday when you work for yourself

Figure out the best time to take off

This could be after Christmas, or it could be in a few months time. Even if you only get Christmas Day off this year, if you have a holiday in May next year to look forward to, it can make getting through this hectic time of year worth it.

Plan who will do what

Can you employ a contractor to do your essential tasks while you’re on holiday or taking some time off? Can you automate your invoicing system so payments are still being made and invoices sent? Can you schedule your social media in advance so it’s all ready to go? Even if you can’t stop doing everything, you may find there’s a hell of a lot of tasks that can be outsourced for a week or two without costing you the earth (but perhaps saving your sanity).

Write a To Do list

Writing a To Do list will help you feel clearer about what exactly you have to do. Around the Christmas period I breakdown my To Do list by day and then I can review my week at a glance and see what each day will bring. Of course things change and move around but if you have a clear idea of what needs to be done each day it’s easier not to let anything slip, and also easier to plan on what you can get outsourced.

Get your own preparations for the festive season completed early

Can you have Christmas lunch at a relative’s house or a restaurant this year? Can you buy all your Christmas presents online and have them delivered so that’s one less thing to worry about? What about giving someone else in your family the job of shopping for Christmas party supplies? Save time and use it for your family or own self-care (which brings me to my next tip).

Schedule in your own self-care

Look, I’m a mother of two small children and believe me, I KNOW how hard it is to make sure you look after yourself. But do you want to have a nervous breakdown? I don’t think so. You need to book that massage in, go to the gym or escape to the movies despite the house being a mess. Even just taking the time to grab a coffee and breath in some fresh air can turn your day around and help you survive the silly season!

Yours in digital,