How To Learn How To Take Time Off From Work

take a time off

Table of Contents

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Tue 17 Aug

Morning all,

I’ve been up since 430am even though I’m away on Italy and I’m feeling much much better now that I’m getting up at the time that I enjoy getting up.

I’ve just been reading a little, made an Americano and have been checking our keyword results in our keyword tracking tool Nightwatch.

And now I’m thinking about the fact that I’m on holiday and that I’ve been unable to relax properly whilst my team are busy working on clients.

Yesterday I started getting anxious because of all of the challenges with work and so I thought I’d put this blog together because I actually wanted to enjoy my holiday at my partner’s home so I’m putting a massive plan of action into place.

Right now there’s a lot of pressure at work and that to be honest doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon so with this in mind I want to adjust my approach whilst I’m in Italy because right now I’m setting a dangerous precedent:

I’m getting my team used to expecting me to always be around which isn’t good for their own independence. It’s better if masses of problems come up but then they are forced to deal with it all.

So here’s what I’m doing to help deal with the pressure at work:

Stop checking work messages

Stop Checking

From 11 am – 6 pm I’m not going to check my work number for any messages at all. I’ll be instituting this from today for the rest of the week so that my team get forced to fend for themselves.

Set up an out of office message

Office Message

Auto Reply

I’ve just set this up so that everyone is reminded that I’m away on email as well.

Importantly I’m not saying it’s a ‘holiday’. I prefer clients to think I’m doing something to grow the business – and in truth, I am through the practice of reading and putting together this blog content each day is working towards growing the business.

Practice single focus

Single Focus

Not working is going to force me to focus less effectively. So whether that means I end up writing blogs relentlessly or I do something else entirely (e.g watch movies all day) – this is a muscle that I need to work upon to grow.

Focussing upon one thing at a time.

e.g the big challenge of today is not going to be looking at any work messages for the rest of the day. This means I’ll be forced to think about things outside of work with more depth.

Reframing the ‘work’ I do as a challenge

Reframing the ‘work’

This is the key part of all of this. That in a way – I’m treating ‘relaxation’ and ‘not checking messages’ as a kind of job – as I’m challenging myself to not check any of my work messages so that I can be more engaged during my holidays.

In this way, I’m laying down the challenge for myself and in a way I’m excited about it because I want to see myself do it.

It will stretch my willpower, force me into doing other things to keep busy and slowly lead to a new lease of life.

Setting ‘work parameters’ for what I ‘can do’ and what I ‘can’t do

Work parameters

So let’s analyse it a little further.

The main challenges are that –

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I’ve never properly tested my team in that they’ve always had me as a fallback in me. This doesn’t help anyone because how can they learn to be truly independent of me.

This is ultimately MY FAULT because I don’t give them the opportunity to rise to the occasion by always being present and being around.

So with this in mind here’s what’s now happening:

Screen View

I’ve just spent 20 minutes drafting this email and have now sent it.

It’s my way (this morning) of planting the ‘let’s let my team grow flag’ as well as effectively stepping back from client work.

Because I’ve effectively (in 2-parts) made a public proclamation – it means now I really shouldn’t get in touch with the team because otherwise it just looks bad from an integrity standpoint.

Make a ‘public announcement’

Public announcement

By sending this message the biggest thing that’s happened is that I’ve laid down my mission parameters and have announced this so that there’s more ‘social pressure’ for me to abide by it more than anything else.

Visualise the worst-case scenario so you’re prepared

Worst-case scenario

The absolute worst-case scenario this week is that we get a load of refund requests and/or cancellations.

Let’s be clear on this (I’ll give people different names) so it’s better from a client protection standpoint:

  • The chef-client might have doubts by the end of this week and want to wrap things up
  • The realty client might cancel his renewal if results this week are poor

We (let’s envision it) – might end up with ZERO clients (well we won’t).

But let’s imagine that – ZERO clients.

100% cancellations and around £20,000 per month in salaries to pay. What would we do then?

Well within one month I think we’d be able to start generating (based upon what we’ve seen historically) 2 new clients per month which would pay us £5,000+ per month or more.

So let’s assume £5,000 per month.

And so within 4 months, we’d be covering salaries. And assuming there’s 25% attrition, within 6 months we’d be growing again.

But logically – we’d actually be a better outfit by then assuming we’d learnt from the whole experience.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Well, journaling is a huge thing for me. I need to make sure I make this a daily habit as it’ll keep my mind balanced and keep me still ‘working’ but on the type of stuff I enjoy.

It’s a great way for me to figure out things in my head every morning.

And yes – having mapped out the ‘worst worst worst’ case scenario (which would never happen)…I think we’ll be fine.

In the end, it’s just 4 working days.

So let’s see what happens – and I hope this is a help to you!