Holiday Expectations: Will you “use” the time, or let it go by?

Holiday Expectations: Will you “use” the time, or let it go by?

Holiday Expectations: Will you “use” the time, or let it go by?

Holiday can be hard to think about when you’re feeling a bit swamped. 

You want it and are excited about it; you need it; but you may also be tempted to make sure you “use” your holiday time for thinking about the business. Planning. Writing some content. 

Actually having headspace seems like a huge opportunity.

The key is expectations. Yours, and your clients’ expectations. 

You want to plan what you absolutely will and won’t do when you’re on holiday: and it’s completely your choice how you use it. Whether you do absolutely NO content whatsoever during that time (or no business at all), or whether you use the odd hour here or there to catch up on a few things. 

I’m a big fan of the complete switch-off: no email, no Slack, no content writing, no business books even. And I strongly recommend you allow yourself to be bored.

We don’t do enough boredom. 

Boredom is at the heart of creativity, because from boredom comes curiosity. 

You start thinking about things. Not necessarily work things, although of course that will happen. But just life things. How does this work? What did that person say and what did it mean? Where have you been meaning to travel to but haven’t got round to? 

You pay more attention to people. To your family, or those you are on holiday with. Even strangers. You’re more relaxed, chat cheerfully with the person at the hotel desk or the coffee shop or the poolside. 

You read and consume different content. Whenever I’m on holiday, I go into a bookstore with a completely different mindset. I pick up something I wouldn’t normally think about – last time I was in Dublin I picked up “How to break up with your phone”, and another trip i bought a big photography book about people who went off the grid and lived in the wild (and took photographs of their journey). 

I’m taking two full weeks off at the end of august – my sister and her husband are coming for a long (and i mean looooooong) anticipated trip to Scotland, and we’ll be on two remote islands reminding ourselves of the value of a slower pace of life. I’ve been planning for months how I’ll be disconnected – preparing the team, running trainings and building out our PF Way so everything is well documented, and mentioning it to clients so they know too. 

I do believe the complete switch off is necessary at least once or twice a year, but you can certainly consider two options:

1. Decide to do nothing at all. If you decide this, stick to it, and you’ll realise the refreshment you got will enable you to be more productive when you return.

2. Decide that doing some work is OPTIONAL, and create a list of things you’d like to write or create. Remember though, if you don’t get to them, there’s no guilt.

(I wouldn’t even consider a REQUIRED option of content – otherwise what’s the point of a holiday?)

When it comes to your clients, you’ll want to make sure you’ve communicated clearly to them, too. How have you dealt with holidays in the past? How will you deal with it this time? 

If you have a team to take care of things when you’re away, it’s simple. Put on the out of office, mention it to a few clients ahead of time, job done. 

If you’re on your own, make sure clients know what kind of holiday it is. Are you “off off”, where they can’t reach you at all? What do they do if there’s an emergency of some kind? Will you be checking here and there throughout the time you’re away? 

When it comes to social media and going silent, I assure you no one really notices. If you don’t want to specifically say you’re on holiday in Majorca or at a family wedding or whatever, just post that you’re going quiet on social in order to focus on a few things in the business (it’s true, because you’re focusing on yourself, so you have a better business).

What I’d love for you to reply with is: 

Where you’re going on holiday, and whether you’ll switch off completely, or create the optional content list?

I’ll be on the Isles of Mull and Skye for the last week in August, and the first week in September! Doing no work at all! Maybe a little sketchnoting though. Just for fun.


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Well. So. Small update.

Was out hiking on mull and slipped on a rock crossing a burn, and broke my ankle. (I remember hearing an audible “crack” as I went down.)

No signal on phone. Managed to climb down a ravine to get to a more open place and hopefully signal. At that point still convinced it “wasn’t that bad”. Tried to walk along the path and realised yes, it was that bad.

Phoned coast guard, who were utter legends. Sent a boat AND a helicopter. Sun was setting and they didn’t want me sitting in the dark. Oh my word it was cold. Helicoptered out to fort William hospital (nicest people ever), then down to airdrie where I got a cast.

Ankle broken in one place. Doctors pleased (as much as you can be!) it’s a clean break & lining up well. I’ll be down for 4-6 weeks.

I’ve repeated myself a lot over the last few days so here’s the short version to all the questions, with appreciation for the care.

Yes, I’m okay. I’m also utterly exhausted & have hit the “damn, this is going to be a long road” phase. Taking it one day, one hour at a time. 

I’m being looked after. Very kind friends and things being delivered. My amazing sister @secondsunrise2 flying in tomorrow from america to be with me for a few weeks. SO grateful.

What do I need? I’m good on the basics. There have been unexpected costs and more coming so if you want to PayPal monies for deliveries or getting my car & belongings back or all the taxis or whatever, feel free. I’m hardly destitute so only do that if you want to send something useful and aren’t sure what. PayPal username karenlreyburn. Amazon wishlist in bio. Random care packages also happily received!

My car & belongings are up on mull. I have people to help and we are working on timing. But if you’re on mull and want to return a car near Glasgow, let me know :)

Shout out to the Coast Guard for being so swift, & that beautiful combination of sympathy and practicality.

Download the @what3words app. Literal lifesaver.

That’s all for now. All the love. Oh - and no, I don’t hold this against mull at all. It’s still my happy place. Things happen & the mull community has been beautiful. Shout out to @treshnish who couldn’t have been kinder. ❤️
Morning walk. I stood and watched the ferry come in and the sun lighten this little edge of the world.
Been going through old photos and letters - the last of the boxes i had stored at my sister’s house in america. 

When I first moved to Scotland, I only planned to live here for a few years and then go back. Then after a few years I wasn’t ready yet…then I got my residency…still not quite ready….then started a business…then Scottish citizenship…bought a house …finally accepted this is my home and I wasn’t moving back. 

And with every visit back to the states I would go through more boxes, more photos and letters and memories. I’d keep some and throw others away; take photos out of frames and give away the frames; and as time went on I was able to distinguish between the ones I definitely wanted and needed to keep, and those which were lovely at the time but didn’t need to be saved anymore.

Over twenty years on and this past trip I went through the very last of the boxes. I joked to my sister that I’ve now officially settled into Scotland 😆 

This photo of me and my Gramps is a fave and definitely a keeper. Most of the photos and letters I’ve kept are those of family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews. And as much as I love taking landscape photos, I noticed that 20 years later it’s the people photos I am more likely to keep. Thankful for the traditions and patterns of seeing family every year or so since moving to Scotland. They’re small things - baking Christmas cookies and going for walks and going for road trips - but it’s the time together and the continuing family jokes and the memories which remain. And a few photos.

My grandfather (and all my grandparents) have now passed on, but I remember with fondness sitting around at their kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from the garden, playing scrabble, laughing and talking and drinking coffee.

It’s the small things, and the rhythms of family, which last. ❤️ 
#family #memories #grandparents #oldphotos
Made fresh mince pies for the first time ever. Over twenty years in Scotland and I’d never tried to make them from scratch, so I figured…now is the time! I’m doing lots of thanksgiving baking (yes, we stretch it out here so I’m still prepping!) and decided to buy the ingredients. 

Dried fruit…mixed peel…lots of spices…and Venezuelan rum :) I made up the mincemeat last night, and then today put it in the little pastries and even cut out the wee stars to go on top!

I think I can safely say they’re the best mince pies I’ve ever had. Fresh out of the oven sprinkled with icing sugar and with a glass of said rum alongside :) 

Now we are curled up with a Harry Potter marathon, with plenty of mince pies AND a thanksgiving feast still to come. Happiness! 

#mincepies #homebaking #maryberry #maryberryrecipe #happythanksgiving #happychristmas #harrypotter #hpmarathon