Another break? Yes, at the end of one summer I took an entire month off from blogging and scarcely did any work for my brand as an author, speaker and educator. You heard me, an entire month off! Shortly after, I wrote a post That One Month I Didn’t Blog, to share about the why and results of doing so.
At a certain point, in all things in life, we must ask ourselves if we will take another break off of what we are normally focused on and working hard at.
Here are my thoughts, in much hindsight, about that extended break I took and whether or not I will take another break from my work.
I will indeed allow myself to take a break.
However, unless my family is literally on a vacation, my breaks will likely only be 2-3 days at a time. I actually have 5 careers right now: author, speaker, my business Decisive. Empowered. Resilient., kickboxing instructor, women’s self-defense and empowerment instructor. Two different businesses that I am responsible for.
I am totally passionate about what I do, all of it. I built my dream careers from the ground up. Work time for is generally play time.
So when I say I now take mini-breaks, what I really mean is I am really good at focusing during designated work time, and really good and just stopping and returning to Mom/wife mode when work time is up. My mini-breaks may mean I work on one business for 2-3 days, then work on the other business for 2-3 days, then take one day off for a big family day.
Pre-planning pays off.
I am a power long term planner. My goals are really big and are not overnight miracles. They require a lot of planning, preparation, execution, flexibility and work. In truth, I wish I hadn’t taken that entire month of from working. I wish I had simply pre-planned better so I could have worked half the hours and still made some progress. Overall did taking the whole month off have a big negative effect? No. I was fine and so was my business.
I do know however that every day you make progress is another stepping stone laid on the path you are creating. I do know that every day you don’t show up, it becomes easier and easier to not show up.
Every time you do show up – your willpower and consistency increases.
In looking that far back, this is what I now share with others who are considering taking a break.
Pre-plan your breaks as much as you can. And still be productive. I talk about this in my Making the Most of Active Recovery Days post for athletes and their training. Even if you take a day off from training, you can still train your mind and gain knowledge and think about new ideas while the body rests. (Read that article even if you are not into fitness – the concepts are rock solid.)
Plan your breaks and step away from your work and find something, even just one thing, to do that is different that will allow you to have a good break but will also enhance who you are and your work.
How to Plan Your Breaks from Work/Blogging.
First, have set rules and boundaries in place for your regular work time. This makes it much easier to be productive when you need to be, so you can relax when you want to.
Second, utilize holidays and family fun days. This doesn’t mean take a week off for Christmas, unless you are actually out of town. It means, get up early, work for an hour, turn work off and go enjoy the rest of your day. (Do this on weekends and watch your productivity improve.) Learn to stop checking your phone and turn social media off from time to time.
Third, when you become a long term goal planner you will easily recognize seasons in your life/family that are really busy and other seasons that are a bit slower. When the season is one that moves at full speed ahead, use this time to pre-plan a lighter work load and to include an extra day off here and there. (Do the opposite for slower seasons – use this time to really work hard and be focused and getting things done.)
Stop Trying to Keep Up with the Blogging Jones’s.
There is nothing worse than feeling like you can’t take a break because Susie and Dolly never take a break and whip out 5 awesome posts every single week.
STOP trying to keep up with others and stop comparing what you do with what they do.
If you need a break, take one. Keep it short, come back, work for a day or two and reassess. If you need a longer break, take another day or two off and repeat.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is just walk away. I recommend getting outside. This doesn’t mean you quit or shrivel in despair. It just means you’ve realized you would highly benefit from doing something else for a little bit.
Find a rhythm that works good for you.
You want to be authentic in your work, putting forth your best creativity and professionalism. If you can create 5 fabulous posts a week – by all means blog away.
But most people aim for 2-3 posts a week and allow themselves to do just one post a week at times.
I aim for one great post a week.
The reason I decided one post works great for me is because I am working hard on other bigger projects all the time. I write books, publish books, work on writing on books, create mini-series for my email subscribers, create videos, run webinars, create and sell courses, create and do presentations and events not to mention my martial arts work.
I have found these other means to be more worthy and beneficial of my time – so that is where I invest it.
One key to success in any endeavor is consistency – figure out what works well for you and go with it. As other factors change, you can always increase or decrease your posting.
So, in a nutshell, will I take another break from blogging?
No, I won’t likely take a big extended break unless one of my other endeavors requires more time and focus.
Yes, I do take regular breaks, little mini-breaks and most of them are planned out ahead of time so I can remain consistent in my work.
Two more tips:
If you can hire out a VA to help run your blog and social media for a few weeks – I say go for it. Your VA can guest post themselves for you or you can find some other bloggers to guest on your blog while you are away.
Hopefully, you find these tips and input useful as you go about the making decision of when to take a break and how to vacation from blogging successfully.
I also have a fun and empowering e-series for writers (and bloggers) packed with great tips
and insight into many aspects of being a writer and blogger.
Sign up for the Empowered Writers program here. (It’s free.)
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