The biggest perk of being a full time blogger is the freedom you have. You’re not chained to a 9–5 job. If you go for a walk to kill your 2 pm slump, there’s no manager to flip out at you. Don’t feel like working on a specific project? Shift gears, work on something else. Vacation time is, in theory, whenever you want it.
It doesn’t take long before you start to feel like you’re the meanest boss you’ve ever had, though.
Making content for your own website is a full time job for many bloggers. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working 24/7 on your projects, and end up feeling burnt out. This kind of creative exhaustion can kill your productivity. Maybe you’d love to take a vacation, but you’re in the throes of building your empire and the idea of slowing down is terrifying…. (Hands up over here!) It’s even worse when there’s so much pressure from the people who love you. Your parents and siblings want you to come visit, your partner has a week of vacation they need to use up, your kids are even more exhausted than you are by your constant grind.
Face it — You need a vacation.
This doesn’t mean everything you’ve worked so hard for will crumble in the matter of a week! Getting out of your extremely carefully choreographed daily routine can do wonders for your creative energy, and your family will love you for it too. You can even make your vacation productive, working on your content in a different way.
Here’s how to use your holiday to boost your business.
Being out of your house, or out of your city entirely, can provide a constant source of new inspiration. Make notes all day about the things that you notice around you. Not only does this make you mindfully observe and be fully present in your surroundings, you’ll also have a whole bunch of new ideas when you get back to your desk.
Use whatever works best for you. I like to travel light, but I found that taking notes in my phone wasn’t working. I’d see something I want to capture before the inspiration gets away, but I’d be immediately distracted by Instagram notifications, text messages, and wondering what’s new on Facebook. Boom — Inspiration gone.
Now, I carry a plain little notebook and pen in my purse. There’s something relaxing about putting pen to paper, and I’ve managed to capture more genius thoughts than I did using just my phone. You never know when the words “zen airport” scribbled in your notebook will inspire a great blog post.
Take Some Photos
You know the struggle of crawling through thousands of stock photos, trying to find one with a cooler in it but no people, vertical, with a light background, that’s also free… As hard as they try, stock photographers can’t have every possibility covered. During your working vacation, take lots of photos. Keep in mind how they would work with your branding, your content, and upcoming planned posts. You can also let your photos inspire your future work — Maybe that perfect shot of a sunset over the mountains will turn into “Greatest Hikes Worth Travelling For”
Build Your Content List
I have a project in Meistertask where I list the post ideas I have under To Do, what I’m working on under In Progress, and what I’m done under Posted. The ideas in the To Do are rough — Added as they pop into my head. They are typically vague headlines, but they’re a starting point for me when I sit down to write. I’ll go through the list, find one that feels good at that point, and start to grow a post from that seed. While you’re gathering inspiration in your notebook, try writing down some headlines or first lines. They don’t have to be good, but they’ll be something to jump off from when you get back to your regularly scheduled content. When you’re having a creatively dry day, pull out that list and just write something based on whatever headline sounds easiest at the moment.
Learn Something New
My mornings are usually focused on learning. It wakes my mind up and gets ideas moving around in the ol’ noggin. Udemy has so many courses available on pretty much any topic you can think of. Right now, my queue has courses on podcasting, photography, writing and investing. A long road trip is the perfect time to pop in your headphones and learn. On the Udemy app, you can download your courses so that you aren’t using data to stream on the go. Picking up some new skills is a huge benefit to your business, and you can do it while you’re relaxing on a beach!
I mean this both ways — Spend time with people, and update your neglected social media. You know the one I’m talking about — It’s for the project that you’re less focused on, something that you struggle to promote, or maybe it’s your personal account. When’s the last time you posted anything? Take some time during this workation to check out all your accounts, and give some love to the ones that haven’t seen much action lately. You’ll be full of ideas and pictures, so it’ll be easy!
A vacation doesn’t have to be unproductive. Enjoy the number one perk of your blogging career — Freedom. Take that offer of a spur of the moment road trip with friends, and don’t feel guilty about not posting for a day or two. You can make up for it next week, when you’re refreshed and bursting with fresh content.