Taking time away from your business can feel daunting. But it could be one of the best things you do for your future success.
There may be many different reasons why you need to take a leave of absence. Maybe you need time out to attend a conference or take a holiday.
Maybe you need to take some time for your health, to have a baby, or care for a loved one. Whatever the reason, it can feel overwhelming to know where to begin and what to do to keep your business going, so things don't come to a complete standstill.
In this post, I want to share with you a few core strategies you can adopt in your business. These will help give you the time you need, without letting your business momentum slip altogether.
As you’ll soon see, these strategies can actually help make your business stronger overall. As they all require you to focus on what is most important and impactful.
So, let’s dig in and explore some of the strategies you can use to make stepping back or taking a break from your business easier.
Need to take time out of your business? Here's exactly what to do to ensure your business doesn't lose momentum.
- Create a ‘not to do’ list - Keep track of your activities for a week or two to help you find everything you are doing in your business. Next, determine which tasks are crucial and which ones can take a back seat or be removed from your business altogether. Then determine which of your crucial tasks need to be done by you, and which ones can be outsourced or delegated. You’ll likely find that 80% of your success comes from 20% of your activities! Create a list of all the things you do not need to create more 'mind space' and stay focused.
- Create SOPs to remove the thinking - Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) can sound complicated, but they can be very simple guides that list out how your activities get done. For example, when creating a new blog post, what do you do first, second, third etc. List these so the next time you create a blog post, you have a handy checklist to follow. Your SOPs also make it easier to delegate certain tasks too.
- Daily essentials list - Make a list of the tasks you must complete for your company each day to keep things moving. As above, include links and details to help you move through this list quickly and easily.
2: Plan Ahead
- What can already be done ahead? - Examine all the ways you can prepare in advance to make life easier for yourself in the future and to ensure that there is content being released on a regular basis. This can include non-business activities too, like freezing meals ahead.
- What content can be repurposed? - Take a look at what you already have that you can use in a new way. If you are like most business owners I speak with, you are already sitting on a treasure trove of content!
- Who can you draft in to help? - You'd be shocked by how many people are eager to step in and help you, they just need to know how. Ask your friends and family for help, and let them know exactly what they can do. If you have doubts, just think about how you would feel if they asked you for help.
- Who needs to be notified? - Let people know if you are taking a break. Take some time to think who needs to be notified and what information they may need in your absence. Determine if any clients, suppliers or team members need to be temporarily put on hold and have these conversations as early as possible.
- Create an out of office reply on your email and phone - Make sure to set up an out of office reply on your phone and email so that your clients won't be perplexed as to why you've suddenly become unreachable.
- Remain flexible – plans may need to change - Always be adaptable; no one can predict the future, so you must be ready in case your plans alter.
3: Create a Portable Office
- Essential info - Keep your essential tools and information in one place that makes them easy to grab as you leave, particularly if your leave will involve hospital time. A bit like having your overnight bag by the door when expecting a baby, have your office bag all prepped and really to go.
- Tasks by time - Arrange your tasks according to the time it takes to complete them. In particular, keep a list of shorter activities at hand. That way, you can take advantage of any brief windows of time or opportunities.
- Move things to the cloud - So you may access them from any location and on any device.
- Can you have a point of contact for emergencies? - Be sure to have a staff member's contact information at hand, in case of emergencies.
4: Give Yourself Permission
- To take things slower - This is just a season in your business, and things will get back to normal later. Allow yourself to slow down.
- To take time out - Taking a break from time to time is essential.
- To ask for help - Have someone else focus on you, if you need to focus on someone else.
- To take the time and space you need too - You must remember to take care of yourself, as the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of your own well being, energy and happiness will ensure that you can support others as you’d like.
5: And Above All, Remember to Breathe!
What do you think about this list? Which elements will you implement the next time you take a leave of absence from your business? I would love to know!
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