Today we talk about an important topic, how to take time off work as a digital nomad girl (guilt-free!).
This past month has been quite turbulent as I’ve moved from Munich to the UK after 3 months, did a pit stop Disney vacation in Paris, then off to the International Rebellion in London for a week. I also onboarded 2 new team members at the same time. Oh and did I mention there was Oktoberfest?
Needless to say, I had to take some time off work.
Now the good part is that I feel less and less guilty for taking time off. Although it’s taken me years to get there and I’m still not 100% guilt free and consistent. Baby steps amirite?
So the other day I mentioned struggling with this and asked whether any of the girls had some advice for me on how to take time off as a digital nomad girl.
As usual, our brilliant members came to my rescue and sent me some brilliant advice, which really, would be selfish to keep to myself.
So I put together some of the great tips I got for you. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful for the next time you take time off work as a digital nomad girl!
Simple, Practical Tips on How to Take Time off as a Digital Nomad Girl
Ines had some short but sweet advice: “I find that planning your come-back before actually taking time off is really useful.
I already set a to-do of the things I will have to tackle when I get back (including some extra time for new stuff that will come up while on vacay – and to remember all these without actually working on it, I just dedicate a note to that where I can dump them). This reduces the overwhelm.”
Plan in Advance
Lyda Michopoulou who is a business coach and trainer shared some brilliant tips that she’s learned over the years:
“In the past let’s say that I didn’t take time off and was afraid that if I leave, my clients will prefer someone else to continue and not me. In the last two years, I’ve got over this unreal fear/self-doubt.
So now, before taking time off I go through a specific process.
First of all, at the beginning of each new year, I figure out my vacation days & digital detox weekends and put them in my calendar. Then, I inform my clients two months ahead of the vacation week/digital detox weekend so they know that I won’t be there to reply to their emails/posts/requests/DMs/whatever.
For my personal work, I try to finish all urgent and important things before I leave and finally, I leave my laptop at home, with friends if I’m travelling or at a safety deposit box, if I haven’t made such close friends at the location I am at that moment.
And then, off I go!
Important here, during that week/weekend I don’t check my email accounts or any related work chats so I don’t have to think about work. Cause our brains need a vacation too!
And when I come back, I take it slowly. Easing myself back to everyday life and not trying to answer to all my emails on the first day back. Having specific time-slots where I answer my emails, helps a lot.”
Create a ‘Status of Projects’ Document for Clients
Ashley Scoby who is a freelance writer had some awesome advice which highlights the need for a good process:
“Something I started doing for one of my clients and that I do now for almost everyone I work with before I take time off is creating a “status of projects” document.
This is a list of everything I’m working on, what the status is (waiting on review from X, will be working on when I get back, ahead of schedule so on hold, etc), as well as any other info that someone would need to know (who to contact in my absence, if it’s a team setting; pieces of info I need from the client, etc).
At the top of the doc, I include the EXACT dates I’ll be gone, what days I’ll be completely 100% off the grid, what my availability is on other days (if I plan on working for an hour each morning, for example, this is where I would include it) + the time zone that I’ll be in.
I’ve found that this method helps me a lot not only stay organized with everything I need to do before taking time off, but it’s also a great tool to provide a client so they can have easy access to what’s up when I’m gone (instead of sending me emails or texts 🙂 )”
Underpromise, Over Deliver!
Sally Townsend, co-founder and editor of The Bride’s Tree, had some great advice for me, specifically about the Christmas holiday season: “My clients are small-medium business owners, they’re advertisers. Advertisers are demanding, man!
But I have found they all generally want to take the time off, or at least slow down, as well. I schedule content ahead of time and I make it really clear in advance that I’m taking some time off.
Personally I feel most challenges in business relationships can be solved by following this one principle: under-promise, over-deliver. So I’ll sneak in an unexpected e-newsletter and/or schedule some helpful advice content in our private Facebook group as well.
So not only do they get their promotion to my audience, they still hear from me personally about their business and it shows that I’ve not forgotten them and I care. I also sometimes write them a Christmas poem, because I am a cheesy geek 🤣
Key to success for this: I start basically now, adding a little scheduled content each week so it’s not a big rush before I take my time off. Definitely do it – it’s so important to take a break yourself and recharge! You started this so you could design your life, right? Well, make sure that you’re taking care of you by design.
Schedule and Automate
Also – automate EVERYTHING. Email responder on and forget. REALLY forget. It’s like this thing I heard once early on in my working life: there’s no point taking a personal day if you’re going to spend it feeling guilty. Make the call, then push aside any associated guilt, because it’s done now, and it’s a waste if you ruin it for yourself.”
Thank you to all the girls who sent me their great advice. What I’ve learned over the past few years is that the key to taking time off successfully and guilt free as a digital nomad girl is to allow yourself to actually do so fully (no checking emails, no quickly posting on Instagram etc) and to plan ahead accordingly.
We’re in this lifestyle for the long run, so we definitely need to learn how to take time off to recharge and come back to our businesses with new inspiration and energy.
If you’ve got any tips on how to take time off work as a Digital Nomad Girl, please comment below and I might add them.