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Plan for your best (and most needed) holiday yet

Have you ever returned from a holiday feeling like you need another vacation just to recover? Taking a meaningful break is crucial for your well-being and your business's success. In this episode, I'm sharing some practical steps to help you plan your holiday break effectively, so you can return in 2024 with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.

The first step is setting an intention for how you want to feel when you come back from your holiday. Do you want to be full of energy, clear-headed, and ready to hit the ground running? By visualising how you want to start your work year, you’re laying the foundation for a successful break and a clear path into the new year.

One thing I've noticed is that many business owners underestimate the time they need for a proper break. As business owners, it’s not just physical fatigue but also the mental load we carry throughout the year. I talk about the importance of taking a significant length of time away from work so you can truly unwind and come back refreshed.

Once you’ve decided on your holiday closedown, think about what tasks must be completed in your business before you leave and if there are any tasks you can frontload for the new year. If your business allows, getting things out of the way early could allow you to extend your break without feeling overwhelmed with extra work upon your return.

A key part of my holiday planning is my ‘no-go-slow’ time framework, which I’ve discussed on the podcast before. I talk deeper into this today sharing how to divide your time into three categories: complete shutdown, client work and business-related tasks. Allocating your time this way is so effective in maximising the benefits of your break and having clarity on where you should be focusing your time.

It’s been a big year and I believe we all need to take a well-deserved break. I hope this framework helps you in planning out these next couple of months and make the most of this special time. Here's to a restful and rejuvenating holiday season!

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[00:00:00] Kristy: Can I start by checking in with you? How are you feeling? how are you really feeling? Are you tired? Are you crawling to the holidays? Are you just over this year and just want it done? Here's what I noticed: at the beginning of the year, many business owners came back from holidays just as exhausted as when they left. I do not want that for you this year and that's why I'm recording this conversation. I want to help you plan to take an incredible break so that you come back in 2024 rested, recharged and refocused for the year ahead. So if you're committed to making this holiday a meaningful one, I know you're going to love this conversation. Are you ready? Let's go. Hello boss. And welcome back to the run your business like a boss podcast. We are on the doorstep of holidays. And if you're based in Australia, this is our big holidays for the year.

[00:01:45] Many business owners don't really take much time out of their business aside from the summertime. And that's why this conversation is so important. I want to make sure that you have all the tools and all the things that you need to take a true and meaningful break. I do have a lot of listeners over in the U S as well so for you, I know that you're probably wanting to take some time off at the end of the year and beginning of the new year as well. So this is relevant for you too, but if you do hear me referencing summer, just know that I'm talking to my Aussie listeners when I say that.

[00:02:25] So, as I said in the intro, I noticed so many people came back from their annual holiday at the beginning of this year still so tired. As business owners, we work so hard, not only from our time perspective, but also there's a lot of mental load that you carry throughout the year as you're working with your clients, as you're building your businesses, working on your business, all the things.

[00:02:56] And if you don't have a proper break, and I mean, Down tools and actually let your mind rest and your body too, then you just start the year on the back foot and if you're listening to this podcast, you want to have both a business that's successful, but also a life that's successful and you don't want to waste your good years, they're all good years, let's face it, but you don't want to waste your good years feeling exhausted and tired and resentful of your business. You want to come back from your break feeling excited and rested and really ready for the next year and the challenges and exciting things that will unfold in 2024.

[00:03:46] So that's why I wanted to have this conversation. I've spoken on the podcast before about my framework for taking a break and I'll talk about that again today, but maybe with some fresh perspective, but also the planning process is so important and that's really where you're probably at right now is that it's the end of November and you have a few weeks to get everything ready before you turn off the lights for the holidays.

[00:04:14] Peace. Let's begin by setting an intention. So you've taken a second to reflect on how you're feeling right now, in terms of in your body and in your mind and all the things. And I want you to just fast forward a little bit to when you're coming back from the holidays, what kind of energy levels do you want to feel?

[00:04:35] How do you want to feel in your body then? Where are you at in terms of your mental clarity and capacity? Do you want to be hitting the ground running when holidays are over? And just taking that second to envision how you're going to start your work year is really important because that's going to give you the fuel to dig in deep, plan your holidays well, take your holidays and come back ready to go.

[00:05:08] So first step is to set an intention of what you want to feel when you come back. Now, based on what you want to feel when you come back and how you feel right now, or how you think you're going to feel when holidays come around, you need to then figure out what kind of break you need to take and in my experience, many business owners underestimate the time off that they actually need and the reason for this is you may have taken little breaks throughout the year.

[00:05:42] And if you've got school aged children, maybe you take some time off every school holidays. But the reality is, is that often you're juggling multiple things and it's not a true break. The summer holidays serves as an incredible opportunity to really down tools and take a meaningful rest because so many other businesses are doing the same. So there's much less pressure on you to take time out because it's really become such a normal thing for businesses to really slow right down here in Australia, particularly from mid December through to the end of January.

[00:06:22] Based on how you want to feel when you get back and how you feel presently, what length of break do you need to take? So being really clear on how much time you need off and away from the business, as well as what the business will allow you to take off. Now, every business is different so I can't sit here and say, You know, you need to take six weeks off or you should take at least three weeks off. Definitely in my experience, many business owners underestimate how much time they actually need to take and that's when they come back from holidays feeling just as tired as they did before, because they just didn't have that time to separate themselves to rest in the summer holidays.

[00:07:09] Once you're clear on the length of time that you want to take off, then you need to figure out what needs to be done in the business to wrap up your client deliverables before you take a break. But also what can you front load so that you're already ahead of the game for when you return to work? and this isn't going to work for every business so I just want to preface that, but maybe it's something you've never done before, and it might actually work for your business.

[00:07:37] So let's say that you are shutting down for definitely two weeks, but you want to extend your holiday for three weeks. So if you were to look at your client deliverables and consider what needs to be done in that first week upon return to work, is there any of that work that can actually be done right now in November or December before you take a holiday? This is not only limited to client deliverables of course. It could also be the things that you do in your business, the weekly or monthly cadence that you do in your business for your business. So your marketing initiatives or things to do with your accounting or whatever that might be.

[00:08:20] So have a look at what you would need to be doing in your business for that extra week or two weeks that you want to take beyond shutdown. And see if there's any capacity or room to bring that forward into December to elongate your break so that you do get to have that little extra time. A caveat though, is that you don't want to negate the extra time off by burning yourself out further by doing all this extra work in November and December.

[00:08:48] You've obviously got to figure out that balance of what is required for you and your business and what capacity you have. It's all very individualized, but I just wanted to share with you what you can do or how you can wriggle out a little extra room. Obviously my no go slow strategy for taking a break is also going to support you to lengthen out that summer holiday to really get that time that you need to rest up for 2024 as well.

[00:09:19] So in terms of planning, mapping out these next four or so weeks left before you take a holiday of what can you get done in terms of client deliverables and what can you front load from 2024 into this year so that you can have a little extra break. If you've been listening to the podcast for any length of time, you will have heard me say the Brene Brown quote, to be clear is to be kind. And so the next step in the process would be to let your clients know what your holiday period looks like. So it might be that you're having a full shutdown for a couple of weeks or three weeks or however long you choose that to look like.

[00:10:00] And then you're going to be available in and out for certain periods for the rest of January. And Honestly, like I said before, this is completely kosher. This is something that has become very cultural here in Australia. Back in the noughties, when I was working in corporate, honestly, it was so hard to get time off at this time of the year, but these days it's very normal for businesses to have periods where they're on and periods when they're closed. And so communicating that with your clients is what is the key. So make sure that they are aware of when you're on, when you're not, what your response times are going to be, and also what to expect from you in January. So you may scale back your services and that may look like a price difference, or it might be that you aren't coming back til mid January so all the deliverables will be pushed back, whatever that looks like for your business, just be clear. And that is the ultimate kindness for your clients.

[00:10:58] So let's get into the nuts and bolts of taking a meaningful break. If you've listened to my podcast previously over the holiday seasons, you will have heard me speaking about my framework of no go slow time. And this is how I've been building out my holidays and my breaks for many years now. And I have received so much feedback from listeners and people in my ecosystem that have also started using this framework that are absolutely loving it and love how simple and easy it is to be able to execute.

[00:11:34] So let me explain it to you. Even if you've heard this before, you might pull out something that you haven't thought of or considered in the past. Basically, this is simply dividing your time into three categories, no time, go time, slow time. Now, and no time is when you're shut down, when you are 100 percent off the tools.

[00:11:57] So this means not jumping onto socials, not replying to emails, not doing any client work and certainly not working on your business. This is when you get a full mental and physical break from your business. So you might be going away, but even if you're not going away, it's really important to have a full shutdown. That might be one week between Christmas and new year. It might be two weeks, three weeks, however long you've got to figure out what that looks like for you and your business.

[00:12:28] Then the next category. It is slow time. Slow time is non client work, so this might be catching up on e learning. It might be catching up in your accounting, your admin, content planning, mapping out the year, planning and goal setting, all of those sorts of things that you would be working on on your business or on behind the scenes and then go time is essentially client work. So that might be meetings, doing client deliverables, things that you actually do that you get paid for basically. Dividing the time into the three categories is what gives you greater bang for buck over the holidays in the sense that most people traditionally, when they think about taking a break from their business, they only think about no time or designated holidays or they're on, but actually you are the boss of your business.

[00:13:23] And if your business permits taking a little extra time, with a few extra days a week or whatever that might be to stretch out the holiday season, as I said. Very slow time of year here in Australia. Why not take that opportunity because very few business owners take a meaningful break at any other time of year, other than this time.

[00:13:44] So how does that actually work? The first step in the process is to figure out you're no time. When are you closed for business? So imagine you're a shop front and the doors are locked and no one can come in and you can't go in either. So that's your time that you need to figure out first. When are you actually shutting your business down and you are not working in your business at all?

[00:14:10] The second part of the process is to jump over to go time. So when will you be back? And what client deliverables do you have? Now obviously my business is very simple. A lot of my client work is based on coaching calls. So I had to figure out when I'm going to return back to coaching calls for the new year and to change any calls that are already scheduled for those early weeks in January that I will not be back in the office. So figure out when you're back in terms of doing your client deliverables. And that means meetings and client work. And what you want to do is to map that out first and foremost of how much time do you need.

[00:14:54] So booking in all those meetings, blocking out the time that you need to get your client work done and then you're really clear on what's left over in between. And so the in between is allocated to slow time, but you also might like to squeeze in a few days of extra no time. So the first objective is to block out the time that you definitely aren't working.

[00:15:19] So the period of which you are having an extended shutdown in your business, then you're booking in the time that you are On in your business and doing client work over January, and then go back and book out the few days that you want to take out as extra days. So if you have kids, maybe you want to take them to the beach for a couple of days, or maybe you want to go and visit some friends or family in the country or whatever that might be, or maybe you want to have some spa days or you want to take a trip. So whatever that looks like for you, figure out a few extra days that you're planning on taking around your client work. This actually comes after booking in the client work because you need to obviously know how you're going to get your deliverables done.

[00:16:03] And then in between that, Is your slow time. Now slow time is a bit of a hybrid. So for me, obviously I have my kids at home for the summer holidays and that means that my slow time is usually half days where they might be doing an activity in the morning and then in the afternoon they're just chilling out and just taking a little bit of downtime and then I'll get some work done.

[00:16:32] But the types of things that you are going to get done in your slow time is work on your business. So it might be, as I said before, your planning, your goal setting, catching up on any e-learning or courses that you had booked earlier in the year. It could be mapping out all your content or your marketing, things that are on your business that don't have a. deadline for any of your clients. So non paid work essentially, and this is a great way to get work done, but also continue to take a break and not feel like you are stuck at your desk, you know, eight till six Monday through Friday, all the way through January from when you took a break.

[00:17:13] This process is really effective, but it's something that you need to plan for and set up before the holidays. If you wait to lock this into your calendar into the new year, then what you'll find is you'll just end up working all the way through. So you'll only get that little bit of time that you've locked off from the shutdown or the essentially the no time.

[00:17:35] So a quick recap of the process. The first thing is to set an intention of how you want to feel. By the end of the holidays, and that includes the no go slow time. The second part of the process is to figure out what work needs to be done before you take a break. And that includes your deliverables from this year, but also how can you front load some of the activities for the new year as well if you have capacity. The third step in the process is to be clear with your clients. So lay down the expectations of when you're going to be taking a break and when you're going to be available, of which you're going to determine when you sit down and map out your no go and slow time.

[00:18:18] As I said, this is super simple. Simple doesn't mean silly. This is highly effective and such a great way to elongate your holidays, take an incredible break and come back in 2024, feeling so ready to have your best year yet. Now I'd love to hear from you. Have you tried this process before? Is this something that you are going to implement this year for the first time?

[00:18:49] Head over to your Instagram account, take a screenshot of where you're listening to this podcast, because I'm so interested to see where you listen in, and let me know what you're going to do or how you feel about this process. And boss next week is our final episode for 2023. I will be running some replays over the summertime, but this will be my final episode of the year, and we will be returning on the 2nd of January.

[00:19:20] So happy planning. I am so excited for you to take a really great break and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this process over on Instagram stories. Thank you so much for tuning in. As always I look forward to chatting with you next week.


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About your host, Kristy

Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.


I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum. 

As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.


Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!

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