It's Summer - Go Play!
When you own your own business, things like spring break, snow days, and summer vacation are just different ways of saying "work days." Right?!? And for those of use in the design business, we've been running so hard for two years that we don't even know what a vacation is. But that has to stop. RIGHT. NOW. There are very few true emergencies in our business, so I'm telling you to get out there and celebrate summer! And before you tell me you can't, here are ways to sneak in those VERY important breaks from the grind, and why you really need to.
There are times throughout the year that are just traditional for vacations and breaks: July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Memorial Day. You KNOW your clients will be away for several of those, so plan to get away then, too! Those are very slow times for any business, and I know that means you could get at least a couple of weeks slotted into those time periods.
Make It a Mini
If you REALLY can't get away for a full week, plan mini breaks throughout the year! Having several long weekends planned across several months can still be a great way to keep your burnout at bay. Even one single day at the spa, or at a museum, or a family event can make a difference. But you have to really commit to turning off your phone and letting the stress GO. That's the most important part of taking a break.
Talk About It - A LOT
Prepare your team and your clients for when you'll be away by talking about it MONTHS in advance. Have them physically mark it on their calendars - and don't forget to include contractors and subs in the conversation. It's important to tell your clients who the point person will be while you're away, in case one of those not-really-and-emergency situations crops up. But talk about your time away in a scheduled way - months, then weeks, then just before - so everyone is very aware that you'll be gone. And stress that you will NOT check your texts, voicemails, or emails. PERIOD.
Remember the Why
These vacations and breaks aren't a perk - they are a necessity!! Your brain (and your stress levels) need that time away from work to recharge and refresh. If you do not take breaks, you are headed for a breakdown. Studies show that your brain will be MORE creative if you give it time to think about anything EXCEPT your work. Those times on the beach, in a fabulous city, or hiking in the mountains will spark new ideas and a fresh perspective. When your brain is not engaged (like in the shower or just as you're dropping off to sleep) it actually is more productive creatively. So taking that time off is going to make you BETTER as a designer and a business owner!
To help you overcome that burnout and overwhelm, download my FREE Guide to Overcoming Design Fatigue! Now shut your computer down, turn off your phone, and GO PLAY!
PS. Don't forget to let your voice be heard! Take 10 minutes to fill out the 2022 Interior Designers Survey on Fees, Salaries and Competing for Talent. Answer this survey and get your complimentary report about the state of this industry and how it is being impacted by labor changes, inventory costs, and fees hikes!