Take some time away from the office

Here’s why it’s so important to take a Holiday when you’re running a business

Another Christmas has passed, and love it or hate it (we love it) it’s a crazy, hectic time of the year. For the past two years we haven’t taken much time off for Christmas (of course we enjoyed the big day and Boxing Day) but then pretty much worked straight through to get bookings out the door.

As a small branding agency the work has to get done, so we’re often faced with the dilemma of whether we close up early, celebrate and get some down time or crack on and work right up to Christmas Eve, jump back in the studio before New Year and simply keep at it. We’re guessing we’re not the only ones.

It’s not just Christmas either. It’s any time of year. Taking time away from your business is a decision not to be taken lightly. Before we take any time off we have to think about;

  1. Bookings and deadlines on our job board.
  2. What sites went live in the last couple of months (sites can crash and normally at times when you’re not in the office or at a computer).
  3. If we have any proposals or drafts out with clients that could come back with client comments in the next couple of days.

It’s not easy for anyone who runs their own business, you have a lot invested in running and caring for what you do and sometimes holidays create an extra hassle that gets in the way of the day to day of running of things.

BUT (and this is an important but)

You have to step away, take the time to celebrate your successes and reflect on things that didn’t quite work out.

In our field, creating brands that work across all the media available in the 21st century takes a fair bit of time and energy. Most small businesses tend to go from one job to the next (which is a great feeling) but we’ve had to learn to step away, and so should you. To achieve this we try to follow these few simple rules;

Plan your downtime – Maybe use your time off to take care of some business admin, write a blog or have a non workplace meeting? All those things that niggle at the back of your mind when you’re working on client projects. Make some notes of tasks that won’t take longer than the time it takes to drink your morning coffee and wipe them off your list when you next grab some downtime.

Don’t plan your downtime – We know this sounds odd after reading the last point but bare with us. You sometimes need to be spontaneous to reignite your creative spark. Go for a walk somewhere new, eat out, visit family. Whatever floats your boat, it just has to be off the cuff and away from your usual routine.

Side projects – Do that little project you’ve had planned for months but ‘business’ got in the way. You never know, it could catch you a paying client or at the very least you’ll feel you’ve achieved something.

Speak with someone new – Do this online or in person, it doesn’t really matter – just put yourself out there and see what happens. This will help you and your business to grow and it’s actually quite fun.

It’s not easy to shut down and close up shop to take some time off, but you’ve got to. Small businesses run on ideas, and you need a little outside influence and time away from the daily routine to keep it fresh.

Step back and see what happens in 2017. Throw in a long weekend to Whitby and let the sea air inspire you to do something new.

Whatever you decide, we hope 2017 becomes one of your best and most creative years yet. Just make sure you recharge the batteries once in a while. Let us know what you’re planning to do in the comments below.