Planning for Time Off as a Solopreneur
One of the biggest pains of employment in America is the lack of vacation time given to employees. You have to give a lot of years of service before they add up to anything remotely close to what is offered in other countries. But what about when you work for yourself? You can just take time off whenever you please, right? Wrong. We all know, if you’re not working, your business is probably not growing. So how to we intentionally take time off, and truly step back without our business faltering?
We plan. Plan. And plan some more!
I had the intention of taking most of December off since the start of the year. Along with a few other vacations/holidays throughout the year. To make this possible I had to budget and plan accordingly from the beginning.
With the way my projects are structured, and the way I develop relationships with my clients, it does not do well to be interrupted by time off in the middle of a project. Because of this, I don’t schedule any projects that overlap a holiday or planned time off. It disrupts the creativity and the process of completing projects on time.
The key piece to my planning is my Budget Spreadsheet! I have been using this tool for well over 5 years, and I would literally be lost without it. It allows me to input all of my expenses and all of my expected income, and see weeks and months in advance -- therefore I know when I may run out of money! With self-employment comes the uncertainty of the next “paycheck”, but most of us know the reality of the survival impulse. When I see that my balance is due to get low a month from now, I know that I must do everything in my power to change the outcome.
Next, I create a plan that ensures I don’t just disappear from the “world”, this includes social media scheduling using Planoly, newsletter scheduling using Mailchimp, and blog post scheduling. This may seem like a lot to do, but when you dedicate the time to sit down and knock it all out, you’ll realize that it won’t actually take you long. It is relieving to know that I have each of these marketing tools scheduled out through the New Year! Now I can enjoy my time off with my family, and be confident that my marketing efforts are still working for me.
Lastly, and something I have added to my arsenal only recently (thanks to Natasha at Sol Studio!), make a plan in Airtable. I made the decision to take time away from client work, so that I have the capacity to spend time with my family, relax, and gear up for the New Year -- but I also made this decision to dedicate necessary time to the growth of my own business.
Natasha helped me set up Airtable Workspaces that lay out the exact processes required for me to complete my goals. By knowing what steps I need to complete, and by when, I know how to best schedule out my “time-off” to be the most productive! And it is super satisfying to click that little *check* when the task is complete!
A bonus idea would be to offer small services to generate quick income, that won’t require much time or resources. I am doing so by offering a great deal on my Instagram Highlight Icons, as well as a sale on all of my digital shop products!