- Detailed planning will make your working sabbatical more efficient and effective.
- When deciding where to go and for how long, take a risk and try something outside your comfort level.
- Delegating or postponing tasks can be uncomfortable, but freeing your time up to focus on bigger picture items will pay off more than answering emails.
In yesterday’s installment, I discussed why it is important to step away from your business.
How you do this will vary depending on your personal situation. Some key questions to consider are:
How long can you be away?
I recommend a minimum of one week to give your brain time to disengage from busy work and start shifting focus to the big picture.
What support do you need to have in place?
This could be an assistant to handle your email or another agent to assist with showings or transactions.
Where do you want to go?
Be aware — things like internet availability and time zones matter.
Will you travel by yourself or with your family?
Do you want to plan a solo trip or join an organized group?
Making sure you have reliable internet and productive work space can be hard to organize on your own. Joining a group can provide all that plus bonuses, like accountability.
I applied via video interview and paid my fees; and they did everything else — organized accommodation, lined up the workspace and curated the community I’d be traveling with.
If you have family who are also able to travel, you might try living in a different state for a month or combine your sabbatical with family vacation time.
If you cannot or prefer not to leave your local area, you’ll need some extra discipline. When you are nearby, it’s more tempting to handle tasks yourself instead of delegating them.
And if you are staying at your own home, make sure you won’t be distracted by repairs, laundry and other procrastination techniques.
Part of the purpose of a break like this is to start implementing systems that will help your business run more independently.
Even if you stay at home, try using a showing assistant or administrative assistant and see what a difference it makes.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll need to plan ahead. Here are four steps to help you plan your digital nomad lifestyle:
Choose a slow time of year to eliminate stress and distractions.
Set clear expectations with your coworkers and clients to avoid confusion about what you are doing. I encouraged my clients to follow my Instagram account, and I regularly post photos of my laptop and use the hashtag #notonvacation to remind them that I am actually working.
Identify the tasks that require an actual person on the ground, and figure out how to handle those things. If you don’t have a team or an assistant, coordinate with another solo agent or pay an hourly rate to a new agent who needs some extra work.
Write out specific goals to achieve during your time away. Without focus, it’s very easy to revert back to your usual work schedule or to act like you’re on vacation.
So far my only inconvenience has been staying up late for the occasional meeting when time zones don’t coordinate perfectly. There have been other unanticipated obstacles, such as being blocked from my bank website due to my overseas location, but no problems that couldn’t be solved.
In my next post, I’ll talk about the biggest obstacles I’ve faced running my business remotely and how I’ve solved those problems.
Meanwhile, leave a comment below about how you could step away from your business, and start planning for your future.