You know when you’ve got a holiday coming up and you work like CRAZY to get everything prepared for it? You use every available hour and minute to hit those pre-holiday deadlines and then finally, you’re done. All finished. Or as much as you ever will be.
And then you enjoy your holiday break. You wind down. You relax. You leave all thoughts of work and business behind while you take a well-earned rest. You spend time with the family. You catch up on hobbies. You find yourself getting quite used to this ‘doing nothing’ lark.
But then you get a niggling feeling. You know you need to get back into the business. There is marketing to be done. Orders to fulfil. Tax to sort out. Things to make, things to sell.
The only trouble is you feel as FLAT as a pancake.
That rest and relaxation you needed so badly has drained you of all your enthusiasm for your business. Your mojo has vanished and you can’t even vaguely think about doing anything work-related – you simply don’t have the energy for it. Then often you get hit by bugs – cold and flu is my bug of choice each year – because as soon as you relax it’s like your body decides now would be a great time to knock you down, seeing as though you’re having a rest and not so busy. Aaaaaagh!
Then the panic sets in. What if I can’t get rid of this flat feeling? I have so much to do- I need to be DOING but I can’t! I’m wasting so much time doing NOTHING when I’ve got a to-do list as long as my arm. Why did I take that time off? I should have kept going! Guilt! Guilt! Worry! Worry!
STOP! Stop stop stop stop. Wooooah.
There are some things you need to know.
First of all, this is totally normal
I feel like this every Christmas and every summer and every blummin holiday and I LOVE my business, just like you. But having some time off messes with your mind. We are so used to being in a flurry of activity, being crazy busy and playing catch up all the time that once we stop our brain and body let out a sigh of relief (metaphorically speaking).
Second, it doesn’t last forever
It will pass and there are things you can do to help that happen.
Third, this is your body telling you to take it easy
Running on adrenaline shouldn’t be your normal state, and yet for most of us business owners it is. It’s a safety mechanism and a warning.
So what can you do about it?
- Well the first thing you can do is shut up those mind monkeys that are telling you you’re ‘wasting’ precious time by having a rest. You’re not. You’re looking after yourself and the business can wait.
- Remember why you are doing this. You’re building a business BECAUSE you want that precious time with the family, you want that precious ‘me’ time, you WANT to be able to have time off. And yet when you get it, you can’t enjoy it. So, enjoy it.
- Keep a notebook or planner handy so when your brain goes into overdrive or the mind monkeys make you panic, you can write down things you need to remember and you can tackle them when you’re back at work.
- Give yourself a specific day to start back in the business – say you’ll start back on THIS date and stick to it. The rest of the time don’t bother with business stuff, just enjoy yourself and stop worrying knowing you can deal with the business on that specific day. It’s about setting boundaries.
- Don’t let customers bully or pressure you into going back earlier than planned. Boundaries, remember? You’re off until THIS date and you can help them then. If they are the right sort of customer for you, they will understand. If they don’t understand and start getting nasty, you are well rid!
- Start with the fun stuff. Then do something you’re not looking forward to so much. Then another fun thing. That way you can enjoy getting back into work but also don’t store all the horrible jobs up. Mix them up and treat yourself in between.
- Treat yourself to a planning day. No pressure. Nothing but big dreams and grand plans. Do some colouring, make a vision board, work out how you would love to spend your time each day. Get yourself reinvigorated and excited about what lies ahead.
- Finally, stop comparing yourself. It’s not about what everyone else is doing. It’s about you doing your best with what you have. You’re not ‘falling behind’. You’re not leaving things too late. You’re not wasting time or letting yourself down. You’re having a much needed break that will give you the energy to keep going later.
Oh, and you’re a business owner. You are running your own business. That means you are officially awesome.
When you are ready I have a load of blogs and articles and resources to help you get back into the swing of things. I’ve also got my fab 2017 Awesome Marketing Planner System if that’s what you need. But for now go back to having a rest, stop worrying, start having fun and I’ll see you on the other side. Happy zonking!
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.