Out of Office
As the summer holidays roll in again I’ve been taking the past few weeks to prepare for my usual summer hiatus. As always, for six weeks, I’ll be switching on the out of office, closing off my projects and preparing to just be at home with the children.
I’ve deliberately built my business in a way that allows me to take all (13 weeks) of the school holidays off. It was a priority when I set up The Brand Stylist in 2014 and something that is utterly core to the way I work. It gives us all precious time to properly reconnect, to do fun creative or adventurous things. And it means that we all get to create a whole stack of memories unbound by schedules, emails or any agenda other than our own.
It’s essential to my wellbeing and also to me as a parent that I take this time off. What I think is sometimes underestimated is that it’s also essential to me as an entrepreneur. I’m constantly asked how I can be so productive: long holidays, inspiration and focus are my answers.
I couldn’t possibly sustain my working rate indefinitely. In fact, this term has really proved that. We’ve had an 8 week term this summer and I’ve completely run out of steam. I think we all have! Taking a complete break allows me to top up my vitality levels, to stay well and also to clear my mind.
Ever since I put measures in place to avoid the email tyranny, I’ve found that my inbox has dramatically reduced. I don’t find myself checking my messages every few hours whilst we are off - it becomes a nightmare! In fact, I’ll often delete my Instagram and Gmail apps from my phone to avoid the temptation to look (it’s totally addictive) whilst I’m on the wind down.
Instead, I set up an out of office and tend to check in once a week or so. As I say, my business is structured in a way that it will work like that. I deliberately only take on consultancy projects that will be finished before a holiday. I work incredibly hard to make sure my online courses are complete processes in their own right and that students won’t need my input. And I have a distributor over here who takes care of the book orders.
This summer will be one to remember. We moved house at the end of May and as a true homemaker, I’m really looking forward to putting my creative mind to good use and designing as many of the rooms as I can. And yes, I know we don’t need to rush anything, but it’ll be fun and it’s important to me that we start to make it feel like home. There’s a wood at the back of our garden so we are planning lots of adventures - both near and far. Can’t wait!
We’ll also be enjoying our first summer with our puppy, Lottie. A cheeky Welsh Terrier who is going to love all the things we have planned for her this summer! Oh and then there’s the garden… those of you who’ve been following my instagram stories will know that I’ve already started free-cycling the mature shrubs whose heavy leaves fill our borders and have been replacing them with beautiful herbaceous perennials alongside headily scented roses. It’s already starting to feel more like home.
Whatever you’re up to this summer, I hope you have a wonderful time. As always, I’d like to thank you for supporting all of my projects this year. Seriously. You guys make all of this possible and I’m so thankful for that.
Have a great few weeks and I’ll look forward to seeing you all in the Autumn xx