How to use your summer holiday effectively when you’re self-employed.

Many people associate the start of a new year as the ideal time to make changes or start new projects. However, the main summer holiday season is also a perfect time to take a well-deserved step back from your life and career and take stock of what you’ve achieved, where you want to make changes and plan out future goals.

It may seem strange to suggest using your summer holiday to brainstorm your business ideas, but we often create our best concepts when we’re relaxed, happy, and surrounded by family or friends who inspire us.

Being self-employed means the brain never stops ticking over. New ideas are always bubbling to the surface, and, hopefully, messages from potential clients continue to arrive regardless of what time of year it is.

With the prospect of good weather, excellent food, and a relaxed atmosphere it can help us to enter a state of creativity and focus. An amazing content plan might pop into your head as you soak up the sun from a lounger in the South of France. You may work out the initial idea for a series of workshops as you float on an inflatable unicorn in the Mediterranean. Or perhaps an overheard conversation at a Cornish campsite sparks an idea that will revolutionise your business.

Here are my top five tips for using your summer to your advantage:

  1. When you’re stocking up on sun lotion, mosquito spray, and flip flops be sure to buy a new shiny notebook. It’s the ideal place to write any ideas that come to you as you’re relaxed. Don’t force your thoughts just let them come to you as you soak up the atmosphere, listen to the sounds around you, and begin to unwind.
  2. Before you go away spend an hour or so de-cluttering. Start with your office, desk, diary, and inbox. Cleansing your workspace will allow new thoughts and plans to manifest once you reach your destination. You could even create a ‘holiday ritual’ where you begin the de-cluttering process one or two weeks before you go away to get you in the zone.
  3. Don’t dwell on current work commitments. When you are self-employed, it can be incredibly hard to leave your business behind, but you will have put some sort of ‘out of office’ in place for your current clients, so they know you will be absent for a short time. As long as they know why you haven’t sent an immediate response to their email, they’ll be happy. This leaves you free to create space mentally to reconnect with your business and attract new opportunities.
  4. Use your sunbathing time to listen to inspirational talks on YouTube. There are a huge variety of Ted Talks available that you could listen to, or perhaps use your relaxation time to listen to a meditation app (I can highly recommend Headspace). Reading on holiday is something many of us enjoy. In many cases, it can be the only time we get to catch up on our reading. Perhaps you could opt for more non-fiction books that will motivate you. Reading uplifting success stories, case studies, or encouraging titles can boost you upon your return.
  5. Finally, and probably the most important point – your holiday is precious, so above all else make sure you enjoy it. Your business will still be there when you get home. If you can use your summer environment to inspire and encourage new ideas, then that’s great, but don’t feel guilty for kicking back and switching off your mind and body.

The beauty of being self-employed is often the passion we hold for our business and clients. We’re doing something we love and enjoy. Instead of using our main summer holidays to escape the rat race, we can use it to assess our needs, recharge our mental and physical batteries, and reconnect with the reason we started our business in the first place.

Use your summer holiday to create an amazing road map to success but also enjoy every second of being with your family and friends, eating your own body weight in ice-cream, and engaging in the history, culture, and experiences available to you.

Happy holidays!

Do you have a top tip for using your summer holiday to good effect?

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