I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be on my sabbatical week this coming week and won’t be posting any blog for a week. Since I’ve increased my blog output lately, my absence might be more noticeable during this sabbatical, and I didn’t want you to worry 🙂 It’s intentional!
In case your’e not familiar, I’m borrowing this idea of Small Scale Sabbaticals from Seanwes and have been taking every 7th week off since last October. And let me tell you, it’s a life saver!!
Since I started pursuing my passion full-time last summer, I’ve been working very hard. Like Sean says in his article, it’s hard to stop working sometimes when your work is something you love, and working towards your dream feels so fulfilling.
But if you don’t stop and take care of yourself, you’ll burn out. And if you’re burnt out, the quality of your work will suffer, and eventually you’ll stop enjoying what you love. So sad! I’ve noticed signs of burn-out creeping up several times in the last 6 months and am glad I have a system in place to regularly step back and recharge. In fact, it’s one of the most important investments I make for myself and my business.
A friend recently asked me what I do during a sabbatical week. Basically, it’s a time for me to step back from my day-to-day and spend time doing things I don’t normally get to do.
During my past sabbaticals, I’ve done some of these things:
- Cook and bake more
- Work on creative side projects for fun
- Spend more time with friends and family
- Take webinars and classes
- Do long-term business planning and goal-setting
- Work on big picture projects
- Organize and declutter the office
- And, relax and veg out!
I don’t do client work and stay away from my daily blog-writing routine during my sabbaticals. I engage in the social media on and off to post about things I’m working on (mostly for fun) during the sabbaticals, but I’m more relaxed about posting consistently.
You might be surprised to see things like long-term business planning on my list above, but I find it refreshing to focus on some of the bigger-picture thinking during my sabbaticals. It’s so important to do, yet I never seem to make the time for it when I’m buried in the day-to-day of growing a creative business!
At the end of the day, you can spend your sabbaticals however you want as long as you come out of it refreshed and energized. It may mean a relaxing vacation on a tropical beach (I wish!) or maybe it’s spending a day in the kitchen labeling everything in your pantry… The world is your oyster, my friend!
Although taking a regular time off feels a bit scary at times, it also makes me stay productive during my “on” weeks because I don’t want to worry about any loose ends during my sabbaticals. I remember being extra motivated to get stuff done before a vacation at my old day job. It’s the same thing! Except, when you work for yourself, you get to decide how often you take your time-off and you don’t need anyone’s permission 😀
If you’re curious about it, I say just do it! I wasn’t sure if it was going to work at first but once you do it a couple of times, it just becomes something you do. I schedule all of the future sabbaticals on my calendar so I know when it’s happening and can plan other things around it.
If every 7th week off seems too much, you can start small and take a long weekend or even a day off to remove yourself from the everyday busyness. I do recommend you schedule it regularly and follow through with it so it doesn’t get put on a back burner.
I honestly don’t know how I stay motivated and focused without my sabbaticals. It’s definitely a game changer!
I usually write a blog post about what I did during my sabbatical week and you can expect a report from me after I come back 🙂 You can check out my past posts here if you want to know more!
Have a wonderful week! Looking forward to seeing you after my sabbatical 🙂