If you have ever experienced burnout to the point of not posting regularly, or have had to take an extended vacation from marketing due to family or personal emergencies, you may have taken a hiatus. Hiatuses are breaks from blogging, YouTube, or other social media sites that allow creators time to recharge their batteries and allocate their attention to other aspects of our lives. Today I’ll be sharing three steps on how to have an effective hiatus that will inspire you to come back to your marketing platform swinging!
Step 1: Disconnect from Social Media Platforms
You may be like “Duh, Allyson. That’s the whole point!”, but a common occurrence I’ve noticed from creators who take hiatuses are that they announce their hiatus on all their social media platforms, stay off for a few days, and then log back in while the hiatus is still going on. We’ve all done it, but, truthfully, it defies the whole purpose of taking the hiatus in the first place.
If you’re taking a hiatus, especially if its due to creative burnout, it is vital that you stay disconnected. Not only will it clear your mind of all the negative Keeping Up with the Joneses feelings social media often causes, but it will show our audiences that we stay true to our word.
Step 2: Make Time for Non-Creative Tasks or New Skills
At this point, you may be asking, “But how the heck am I going to spend my time without social media?” Keep calm, my friend. Humans survived for thousands of years without the interwebs, and we can too. As far as finding tasks that can fill the void social media left, we have a couple options:
1) Work on creative tasks
2) Work on non-creative tasks or new skills
Now, while it may be tempting to use up all that newly discovered time on creative endeavors, I advise that you also make time for non-creative tasks and/or new skills that you’ve been wanting to learn. If we put all our energy into creative efforts, it increases the risk of burnout. We’re not meant to create non-stop, so allow yourself time to take part in other tasks. Those tasks will help recharge your creativity!
For example, some of my favorite things to do when I need a creative break include watching movies or TV shows (#Ouat), reading, bowling, or playing video games like The Sims 2 or Animal Crossing. These activities effectively divert my attention away from creative matters, so when I head back to my notebook to be creative again, I have a clear mind.
Step 3: Plan Ahead for Your Comeback
For a lot of creatives, a hiatus comes as the natural result of feeling overwhelmed due to the lack of achievable goals or set schedules. When I took my last hiatus in December 2018, I was stressed to the max because I had just released a new book, was preparing for Christmas, and was behind on my blog. I ended up taking the entire month off, and before returning to blogging, I got a planner and mapped out a posting schedule so my blogging plans wouldn’t be so jumbled.
While you can’t plan ahead for everything (I mean, life happens), buying a planner, creating a tailor-made schedule with achievable goals that fits where you’re at on your creative journey is a life saver. Though it may be weird to get used to at first, you’ll eventually consider it to be a lifeline for your platform.
Though all hiatuses don’t occur for the same reason, they’re all taken to give us time to recharge and heal. By unplugging from social media, giving time to non-creative tasks, and planning ahead for your comeback, your hiatus will be the refresher you needed.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
What actions have you taken to ensure your hiatus was the break you needed? Please add to the conversation in the comments!