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Why I Took A 1-Year Sabbatical (And How I Did It)

First off, I am fully aware that most people testament dice their entire lives without taking a month-long sabbatical, allow solitary taking an entire Sabbatical solar year.

Why I took a 1-year sabbatical from my business and the exact strategies I used to do it

I am also aware that many people experience stuck or trapped with piece of piece of work to a indicate that they tin’t 50-l imagine taking off to a greater extent than than a calendar week – I used to be 1.

So please understand my gist inwards sharing this: I desire to smoothen a visible light on our awesome God who made this impossible thing possible.

The entire thing was similar watching a miracle unfold too I am forever grateful to have got been along for the ride.

And one last thing before we dive in. This article starts with WHY I took a sabbatical year and in the second half I will shift to HOW we pulled it off logistically without shutting downwards our task concern.

How I knew I needed a Sabbatical leave of absence

In 2016 I spent most of the solar year working harder than I had ever worked too it was similar I was going nowhere.

I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I felt like I was doing all the right things, but but wasn’t seeing much fruit.

And in late 2016 – for the first time since I began this business – I woke up on a Monday morning and was dreading going to work.

That was a wake-upwardly telephone telephone telephone upward to me that something wasn’t right.

From the very beginning, I have loved this amazing chore arrangement that God has allowed me to steward together with spell non every instant has been perfect, inward total full general, I genuinely love my slice of work as well as await frontwards to what each 24-hr interval brings.

In my past, I have had some jobs that I choose hold hated too I had to suffer some for many years.

I testament never forget how demoralized I felt when I was stuck doing work I hated with no way out. I never desire my business concern organisation to choose me dorsum to the same position.

In December of 2016, it dawned on me that this was what burn downward-out felt similar as well as taking a time out would live beneficial.

I was entirely a few weeks away from leaving for our month-long sabbatical (a trip we choose hold taken for the past times 5 years) so the timing couldn’t have got been ameliorate.

I knew how refreshing that trip had been every twelvemonth too that was going to be my saving grace.

Or so I view.

A few weeks afterwards we arrived in sunny Scottsdale, AZ inward add-on to every fleck usual, I completely disconnected from slice of piece of work.

But for some combat, I began to realize that something was different this twelvemonth.

Before I knew it we were inwards the motorcar on our way dorsum to Nashville (with a few fun stops along the way).

Marfa, TX

What does Sabbatical hateful?

Shortly after we got back I was sitting at my desk thinking a bit about my goals for the repose of the twelvemonth.

Right side by side to my desk I have got a whiteboard that I write monthly goals on so that I tin relaxation on task.

So far inwards 2017, I was right on rail:

Sabbatical in February

As I stared at the February goal that I had just checked off I wasn’t sure as shooting if I had spelled “Sabbatical” correctly.

After all, spelling Sabbatical is kinda tough  and I don’t exactly write it every 20-four hr period.

So I googled it.

Sabbatical definition

The first result was a Wikipedia article that confirmed that I had spelled it incorrectly. But earlier I had a adventure to closed the browser window, I read a petty further into the article too apace became fascinated yesteryear times how they define a sabbatical too what it really means.

Sabbatical Definition from Wikipedia

At this signal, I didn’t l-l realize that the concept of a sabbatical was a Biblical idea (somehow it had never dawned on me that it was from the same root word as sabbath).

And, funny enough, it took Wikipedia to instruct me close the Bible. 😉

How Wikipedia defines a sabbatical leave of absence:

“Sabbatical or a sabbatical (literally a “ceasing”) is a rest from work or a break, often lasting from two months to a year. The concept of sabbatical has a source in Shmita, described in several places in the Bible. For example, in Leviticus 25, there is a commandment to desist from working the fields during the seventh year. Strictly speaking, this way a sabbatical would go i yr.”

When I read that go line, it jumped off the page at me in addition to it was the firstly hint that God used to direct me inwards this way. I had never know that a true sabbatical lasts i yr.

The side yesteryear side stride of the rabbit trail was reading to a greater extent than nearly the Shmita (mentioned inward a higher location).

So I continued my Wikipedia Bible study 😉 with this Shmita entry (edited for brevity):

“The sabbath solar solar year, also called the sabbatical twelvemonth is the 7th year of the 7-yr agricultural bike…

During Shmita, the the world is left to lie fallow too all agricultural activity, including plowing, planting, pruning, together with harvesting is forbidden… Other tillage techniques (such as watering, fertilizing, weeding, spraying, trimming as well as mowing) may live performed as a preventive mensuration out entirely, non to improve the growth of trees or other plants…

Chapter 25 of the Book of Leviticus promises bountiful harvests to those who observe the Shmita, together with describes its observance as a examine of religious faith…”

As I read this I remembered reading unopen how modern-24-hr interval farmers that allowed their solid ground to ease regularly had much amend results than those who didn’t.

The theory existence that the soil becomes depleted and the plants endure together with make less fruit if the terra firma is continuously farmed without a tranquility current.


This was sounding quite familiar to what I was seeing inward the Bible nearly the Sabbath yr of ease for farmers.

Could God hold actually given them (in addition to us) specific management on how to maximize crop yields?

And what was 50-fifty to a greater extent than interesting to me was that just as populace becomes depleted yesteryear not having a relaxation, I don’t think there was whatever amend word to depict how I felt after 2016.

As I was beginning to sense that God was using this illustration to ask me if I could TRUST Him plenty to accept the ENTIRE yr off, my foremost reaction was panic.

  • How am I going to pay the bills?
  • The site that I have got worked nearly a decade on volition dissolve to nada.
  • Everyone will think I am weird.
  • Or worse – they testament think I am a lazy bum not taking aid of my house.
  • What nearly all the plans I had for the yr?
  • What if we lose our theatre?

That is but a little sampling of the numerous thoughts as good as fears that raced through my nous every chip I began to entertain this view of taking a Sabbatical leave for a solar yr.

Next stop: pecker to Linda

Later that 20-4 hours I told Linda that we needed to utter.  Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 pocket-sized constituent of me was secretly hoping that she would fly off the grip together with convince me that this Sabbatical leave of absence view was from the devil.  😉

One of my favorite things I dear virtually beingness a Christian is all the adventures that God leads us on if we step out inwards faith when He calls us, but this ane was a large 1 together with I was having trouble wrapping my encephalon around all the repercussions of it.

I waited until we got our son to bed because I knew this would accept a picayune 4th dimension.

“Honey, I think I mightiness have got gotten something big from God today…”

“Oh yea?!”, she said – clearly having no thought what I was going to say next.

I proceeded to explicate how I had misspelled Sabbatical as well as went inward improver to learned nearly it on Wikipedia in addition to I but sensed that yet, little vox directing me…

“And so…” I hesitated.

“I kinda think I am supposed to take the ease of the twelvemonth off.”

I braced myself, non knowing what she was going to say side past side. It should come as no surprise to me, but she was completely on board.

In fact, God had dropped this view on her midpoint a bridge weeks before (when we were driving dorsum to Nashville from Scottsdale), but she felt similar she was supposed to take hold dorsum until I got the management before telling me.

Getting confirmation similar that gave me a piddling hope that I may non live crazy after all.

But it also forced me to come upwards to damage with what a stair of faith similar this actually agency.

One of the looming questions beingness:

How inwards the globe am I going to pay the bills if I don’t piece of piece of work for a twelvemonth?

I didn’t have got that respond yet, but I began getting excited because if God was calling me to do something similar this, sure enough as shooting He was going to do something grand.

The side past times side 20-4 hours every scrap I was re-reading Leviticus 25 (where God talks nigh this whole Sabbath yr opinion) I got downwards to poesy 20 where (presumably) the Israelites are freaking out at this call for God is making to non farm for a yr.

“You may enquire, “What testament we eat inward the 7th solar twelvemonth if we do non flora life or harvest our crops?” I testament send you such a approbation inward the sixth twelvemonth that the ground volition yield plenty for 3 years. While you works life during the 8th twelvemonth, you testament swallow from the onetime crop as good as volition driblet dead on to consume from it until the harvest of the 9th solar year comes inward.”

God wasn’t calling them to a yearlong fast or to utter destruction. In fact, He promised He would supply plenty inwards the prior yr to sustain them.

As I view virtually my ain life, it dawned on me that the prior 2 years had been abundant years with our business organisation concern inwards improver to had allowed us to create upward pretty proficient savings.

Had that been God’s plan for that money all along?

We would before long uncovering out.

How the Sabbatical Year played out

Over the class of written written report of 2017, spell on my Sabbatical leave, all my fears solely tardily faded equally month after calendar month, we were able to pay the bills, feed ourselves, as good as our concern didn’t disintegrate.

By His grace, our website continued generating income month after month (just one of the reasons that blogging is the best task inwards the ground) and we made it all twelvemonth as good as barely had to dip into savings.

Now that nosotros are on this side of it, it seems like it was no big deal – what was I so worried nearly?

But at the fourth dimension, when I imagined all the worst lawsuit scenarios, it was pretty intimidating.

Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on that anymore. Let’s verbalise a fighting nigh the benefits.

The benefits of my Sabbatical leave of absence I have seen (so far)

This has been the sec 4th dimension inwards my life that God has called me to a long-term (6+ months) sabbatical. And to say that the initiatory off one was life-changing would live a huge understatement.

During the firstly Sabbatical:

  • I finally got serious most God instead of entirely beingness half-hearted inward my organized faith.
  • He began the financial teaching that would ultimately Pb me to start this site.
  • I broke off a human relationship headed for wedlock that would take hold got been bad word.

After the foremost Sabbatical:

  • I met my futurity married adult woman, Linda, inside weeks of returning.
  • I made countless friends at church building, which prior to that I exclusively had ane.
  • God started me downwards the path of my calling.

And truly those are but some of the highlights. There were exclusively also much to bring up.

All that to say, piece I choose take hold noticed a few obvious benefits of the sabbatical therefore far, I am confident that plenty to a greater extent is to come.

In the meantime, hither are 3 large ones that stand out to me:

1. A consummate reset

For every bit depleted equally I felt starting 2017, I could not experience more than than refreshed in addition to excited to acquire to piece of work at nowadays.

I had grown to despise writing, too at nowadays I am loving it over i time more.

I sense similar I am starting a job concern from scratch – with the eyes of what’s possible, instead of all the things I HAVE to do – but with the added do goodness of having a huge caput start.

2. Lots of picayune course of pedagogy of written study corrections

In Psalm 139 David said,

“Search me [thoroughly], O God, in improver to know my oculus; attempt me inwards add-on to know my anxious thoughts; And view if at that topographic dot is whatever wicked or hurtful way inward me, And Pb me inwards the everlasting way.”

It is pretty crazy that nosotros tin choose hold stuff inward our hearts that we aren’t aware of until God reveals them.

I experience similar at that location were a handful of lilliputian things that God shined a lite on for me to regard.

None of them past themselves were a large bargain at all, but it was to a greater extent nipping them inwards the bud, to preclude them from turning into something bigger downwardly the route.

I much prefer the gentle, private correction from the Lord yesteryear times taking assistance of things on the front end cease terminal, rather than having to deal with bigger issues that they could get later on on.

3. Direction for the line of work system

All yr long, almost every time I ran into a friend, they would inevitably inquire me, “So, take hold you lot gotten whatever large revelation yet?”

To which I would have got to reply, “Nope, non yet,” which makes for a deadening conversation.

It wasn’t that I felt God had promised to give me some large revelation, but it just seemed to me (together with apparently everyone else) that He should. 😉

The reality is that He probable needed to laissez passer 11 inward addition to a half months clearing my caput of the clutter inwards improver to revealing some middle issues before He could give me the management that I sought.

And that is pretty much what happened to me.

Just a few weeks agone, I began sensing genuinely strongly that equally I snuff it into this new twelvemonth He wanted me to share (with y'all) some of the miraculous stuff He has done inward my seat’s life the finally few years.

He showed me that I have got been hiding some of His wondrous works as well as though I choose take hold been praising Him privately for them, He wants me to office some of these testimonies of His goodness for all to see.

“Oh give cheers to the LORD, telephone phone upon His proper name; Make known His deeds amongst the peoples. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” –1 Chronicles xvi:8-ix

So that is why I wrote this article.

Taking a sabbatical yr solely could have happened past times the grace of God.

None of my planning, strategy, worrying, or anything else could have got made it possible.

Nothing but God.

So what does all this think to yous?

Well, for starters I don’t think it agency that yous should driblet dead pick out a twelvemonth-long sabbatical  (though for some of you lot it mightiness).

What I honey nigh God is that He calls us to dissimilar things at dissimilar times, in improver to it would be foolish of me to assay to force off this thing that He called me to do on everyone else.


I do know that almost all of us struggle in this area of resting and living a Sabbath lifestyle. And my encouragement to you would live to start praying together with stretching your religious belief inwards that expanse.

Maybe for yous, it agency – ACTUALLY doing no work on Sundays too just enjoying your theater.

Maybe it way stretching yourself to pick out a calendar calendar week or a month Sabbatical too just seeing what God does in your life.

And peradventure for a few of yous, it testament intend taking a twelvemonth-long sabbatical.

Regardless, I hold got NEVER heard a unmarried regret from anyone who has taken a Sabbatical leave of absence of absence – regardless of length.

And live warned, whatever it is for you lot, it testament probable seem every scrap sound hard or impossible – but that’s skillful tidings…

Because if you tin’t do it inwards your ain strength, yous volition acquire to consider God do some awesome stuff!


I have got got told a handful of people virtually the whole thing as good as I commonly got these questions, so inward instance yous are curious…


What did yous do all intend solar think solar daytime?

Not coincidentally, good-nigh 6 weeks after I decided to take hold the yr off, nosotros had a surprise adoption of our baby daughter.

Our programme was to adopt much later on inward the solar yr or inwards 2018, but God had dissimilar plans.

This allowed me far to a greater extent than concentrated 4th dimension with our newborn – equally sound every scrap our 3-solar twelvemonth-old – than I otherwise would take hold got been able to give.

I consider myself so blessed that I got to spend all those countless hours with both my kids at such a young historic electric current. I will forever cherish that time together.

I spent a lot of 4th dimension working inwards the yard. Maybe it’s because I typically sit down at a desk all 24-sixty minutes interval, but I LOVE being exterior together with doing “existent piece of work” yesteryear getting dingy inwards add-on to sweating a piddling chip.

It actually refreshes me. So I did a lot of it.

One of my large projects for the twelvemonth was building our veggie garden:

Sabattical Year Garden

I also continued to hand a lot of fourth dimension lonely reading together with praying. I was able to read lots of practiced stuff finally yr.

And I was pretty much caput chef for the entire yr inward add-on to began honing my skills yesteryear taking some cooking classes online.

And one of my guilty pleasures is selling materials on eBay, so I continued doing that as good.

Did I acquire bored on your Sabbatical?

Simply set, yes.

But this is precisely what I was hoping for. Our monastic tell has all but eliminated the possibility for whatsoever of us to get bored. Think close it – most of us carry an endless shape of amusement with us at all times. And if that weren’t plenty, it is beeping at us trying to acquire our attending all daytime long. Couple that with all the long hours that so many of us piece of work as well as the demands of house life together with it isn’t surprising that most of us haven’t been bored inwards over a decade.

I haven’t dug into this plenty, but I have got got a hunch that boredom is actually a goodness thing too that mental infinite is truly beneficial for us.  So that was something I was looking frontward to.  Just sitting past times the fireplace inwards a comfy chair solitary with no device, no book, no agenda – but sitting.  Just existing as well as perhaps getting a trivial bored.

I got to do a piffling of that, but sadly non nearly as much as I would have got got liked.

I was genuinely surprised that I felt similar I stayed busy without much endeavour. As someone who has piffling involvement inwards traditional retirement (because it seems dull to me), I was really scared that I would just be twiddling my thumbs all daytime together with live bored out of my hear.

That didn’t happen at all. Just like expenses ascension to run into income, the same principle seems to apply to our fourth dimension.

The hours were inwards that location each solar day, but they rapidly got filled.

Part 2: HOW I took a twelvemonth off piece of work

In component ane of this article we focused on WHY I took a solar year-long Sabbatical inward plus to what led me to brand that determination.

Processes I Used for a Year Off Work

But at present let’s chat almost the nuts together with bolts of how we pulled it off logistically – as well as managed to proceed to eat and live indoors throughout the yr.

My goal  is to per centum what I have got got learned from taking 6 month-long Sabbaticals over the lastly decade and plainly a solar twelvemonth-long i every flake good – but inwards trial you lot are going to live doing 1 yourself.

The principles are basically the same – regardless of the Sabbatical length.

And spell this is definitely most applicable to online entrepreneurs with web-based businesses like myself, some of the key principles testament apply to all line concern-owners, as well as l-fifty some employees.

Let’s acquire with 2 key lessons that take hold helped me develop the systems that made it possible…

1. Learn from the mistakes of others

I do my best to larn what NOT to do from others as much every bit what to do. Eleanor Roosevelt has a quote I dear…

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long plenty to do them all yourself.”

When I was xviii I began waiting tables at a little ‘mom too pop’ eating theatre shut my abode inward St. Louis. They had only lately opened upward inwards add-on to the owners (a husband together with married woman squad) had spent decades inward the eating house concern inwards improver to they knew what it took to get ane off the basis as well as brand it succeed.

I chop-chop realized that for them, that meant working 12+ hr days…

Every. Single. Day.

In fact, after the restaurant had been opened for 6 months, we (the waitstaff) celebrated with them because they were taking their firstly 20-4 60 minutes time period of time off since we had opened.

At this betoken, I had some desire to venture out equally an entrepreneur, but I hoped that at that topographic dot could be a amend way.

And to be fair, mayhap that was what they wanted to do. Maybe working nonstop 12-threescore minutes days was what they loved doing.

Regardless, the truth is that so many entrepreneurs chase after their dream to construct a business concern as well as rapidly uncovering themselves becoming a slave to it.

They uncovering themselves working crazy hours with no stop inwards sight too seeing no way out.

From the acquire-go of my entrepreneurial journeying, I wanted to do my best to avoid this. I didn’t really know if it was possible, but I figured in that location was no harm inwards trying.

2. We uncovering answers to the questions we inquire

We all have seen incredibly “successful” businesspeople who maybe achieved all their business aspirations, but it cost them all their time, their marriages, their organized faith, or relationships with their children.

By changing the questions that nosotros enquire, we will hold a much improve endangerment of achieving what nosotros truly wishing without having to sacrifice things that are of import to us.

Tony Robbins has illustrated this betoken improve than anyone else I have heard as well as he talks a picayune almost it hither…

Because I was so scarred from seeing many chore organisation owners inwards my life working themselves to the bone, I changed the interrogation I e'er asked myself together with essentially created a filter through which to create my decisions.

For those who don’t know, this blog you are reading is my business.  And in 2008 after I got set off, I began the journeying to total-time blogging.

As desperate as I was to generate some income from the spider web log to pay rent, I fought against the temptation to enquire this enquiry:

“How tin can I turn this spider spider web log into a full-fourth dimension living?”

And instead opted for this interrogation:

“How can I turn this blog into a full-time living requiring every fleck few hours every bit possible of my fourth dimension?

This might seem trivial, but remain with me hither.

What this essentially did was strength me to say NO to lots of income-earning opportunities that would hold made me money, but would have got taken upwards a lot of fourth dimension.

And past times times sticking with the 2nd section of my query, it was slice of cake to say NO because they didn’t gibe.

The truth is that it took me a trivial longer to do a total-fourth dimension living blogging, but because I had that filter too asked that query, I ultimately found the respond I was searching for – inward plus to I was able to create a profitable line of piece of work, without requiring every infinitesimal of my fourth dimension.

Seeing if the boat floats

The theory of request amend questions is like shooting fish in a barrel inward dominion, but much to a greater extent hard to stick with it.

And after about 2-3 years of running the business, though I had continually worked to create a somewhat passive income approach to it, I had to stair out together with try it.

I had designed my spider web log job organisation to non REQUIRE much of my time, but I loved spending my fourth dimension on it as well as was addicted to working on it.

Taking 1 calendar week off

In 2010 I decided to take a 1-week holiday too NOT cheque e-mail at all. I was terrified that the site was going to intermission as well as when I returned Google would hold got removed us from the search results in addition to many other baseless fears.

I honestly had a hard time enjoying the vacation because I was so nervous. But it was critical that I position that boat inwards the water to consider if it floats.

And it was amazing to view that the site didn’t crash too cipher fifty-l remotely urgent came upward while I was gone.

The following quaternary dimension, I decided to take hold a 10-hateful solar daytime time out inwards improver to solely cheque electronic post 1x (for 1 hr) to scan for urgent materials together with the same thing happened – null!

Could I do a month?

In Feb 2012, I nervously stepped out to have a month off every bit nosotros went downwards to Sanibel Island, FL on what I would telephone telephone my initiative Sabbatical of sorts inwards over a decade…

month long sabbatical

Having ii week-long breaks under my belt, I was pretty comfortable with that stretch of fourth dimension away from the concern together with had developed some systems to acquire me through.

But, I had no persuasion if they would concur upwardly for a month.

Only i way to discovery out right? 😉

So that February, I did my first no-turn a turn a profit Sabbatical. The only exception was to scan e-mail for ane hr or less each Sat.

By the take hold upwardly Sat of the month, I was honestly feeling similar I didn’t l-50 demand to cheque e-post; I had gotten comfortable with the distance.

The benefits only apartment-out amazed me

The concentrated focus time with Linda strengthened our already strong marriage. Dedicating a proficient amount of quaternary dimension to prayer as well as the Bible each daytime dramatically boosted my spiritual life. On top of that, the mental clarity in addition to clear management for the yr had me counting the days to acquire dorsum to piece of work.

I felt to a greater extent refreshed than I had been inwards years in addition to I had a clear focus as well as programme of action for the ease of the solar yr.

Why choose a calendar month off inward the foremost off topographic point?

It had been such a valuable experience that I decided right inward add-on to so inwards improver to inward that location that I would do this every yr going frontward.

And for the lastly 5 years taking a month-long Sabbatical has been our regular pattern.

I’ll acquire to the details of our 1-twelvemonth Sabbatical inwards a chip, but maiden I wishing to focus on how to pick out a calendar month off from your business organisation successfully. Because if you lot tin’t do that, you lot aren’t going to be able to hold a yr.

Focus on disconnecting, NOT on having a opor-garai

This is a large distinction for us. Vacations (fun every bit they are) tend to create full upwards my schedule to the brim, too since we have got got kids, tend to also pick out a floor of inherent stress with them.

We are real intentional nigh how we exercise our time on Sabbatical trips. While nosotros testament do some fun stuff, the goal isn’t a vacation, but rather decompression, meditation, inward summation to connecting with God.

It should overstep away without proverb that earlier nosotros had kids it was much easier: we would both pass most of the twenty-4 hr time time period reading, praying (lonely or together), goal-setting, too listening to Biblical teaching. And too so after dinner maybe scout a moving epitome or just hang out.

Our typical daily schedule

Now that nosotros have 2 kiddos in the mix, nosotros take hold found what works best for us is alternating days.

So on i 20-iv hours I volition have got the kids too be responsible for them basically until dinner. And Linda tin can pop off to the beach, coffee-store, library, common or anywhere else to acquire lonely together with focused. And so she takes the kids the following intend solar xx-four hours too we just maintain to alternate similar that. And occasionally throw in a menage 20-4 threescore minutes menstruation.

With 2 kids we apparently hold less fourth dimension lonely together, but we assay to focus on using the fourth dimension AFTER the kids drib dead to bed to chat nigh our goals for the twelvemonth together with where we think God is leading us.

Leaving vs. staying at domicile

As much every bit I hate to acknowledge this, I take hold found that it is a LOT easier to have got got more as well as meliorate focused time when I acquire out of town. I don’t know why just, but my hunch is that:

  • The familiarity (inward improver to established patterns) of our habitation life creep dorsum inward as well as knock us off our schedule.
  • Many of my dwelling menage house life demands don’t follow me to a opor-garai rental.

We have found renting from Airbnb or HomeAway are typically much amend options than staying at hotels.

They typically have more room to move around, are more comfortable, and have a full kitchen – eating out all hateful solar daytime long, every think solar daytime for an extended fourth dimension takes its toll speedily.

We also hold back for places that nosotros tin walk to from where we are staying. Ideally a beach or green or coffee shop.

I hatred that it seems similar we have got to have got the large expense of leaving domicile too renting to acquire the maximum do goodness, but for us hence far that has been the illustration. Your mileage may vary. Logically, inward that location is no reason yous couldn’t acquire the same benefits from domicile – it is but tough to interruption those established habits inwards plus to patterns.

How nosotros maintain the job organisation afloat spell we are gone

Our concern is this weblog yous are reading. Your line organisation real goodness may be different, but even if it is, hopefully in that location will live some takeaways for yous inwards hither.

I volition go into some exceptional below, but honestly my strategy is truly uncomplicated inwards that I enquire myself 2 questions:

  • What’s the worst case scenario? (Q1)
  • What’s the likelihood that the inwards a higher place would occur? (Q2)

The respond to the foremost inquiry is often scary, but if the respond to the s interrogation (my best guess) is less than 20%, I get out for it.

1. Schedule web log posts

I do a good bit of writing before we leave and schedule out blog posts to publish automatically. This is really easy to do with Self-Hosted WordPress.

Sometimes I even “cheat” as well as update too republish older content that I wrote years agone. 😉

If I experience similar I tin can’t create plenty content to get scheduled out that far, I just post less oftentimes during the trip.

But what if you lot post daily? I would demand the same 2 questions in a higher seat around posting weekly.

  • Q1 = a modest per centum of people power live upset
  • Q2 = 5%

In my experience of doing this the finally 10 years, I have got never heard of anyone unsubscribing from getting too few emails – it is almost ever the opposite; they unsubscribe all the time because they get as well many emails.

So the firstly time I did this, I but allow all the subscribers know that I was taking a calendar month-long Sabbatical together with would live posting less.


Problem solved.

Not a unmarried individual complained. And really fewer people unsubscribed than normal. Lesson learned.

2. Schedule out emails to our subscribers

For a piece, our emails were automatically sent every fourth dimension a novel blog post was published, so I didn’t even have to think goodness-nigh this.

Now we write a quick e-mail for each spider web log post that we create. It definitely helps with reader engagement, but I would overstep away dorsum to auto-emails inward a heartbeat (peculiarly but for a month) if that was preventing me from taking a month off.

3. Blog Comments

What happens if I don’t cheque spider web log comments for a month?

Q1 = I will have missed the opportunity to connect with some readers.
Q2 = 20%

Let me start yesteryear saying that I honey reader comments too ordinarily I read all of them. But, I learned many years ago that as fun as they are, they don’t feed the menage unit of measurement of measure, together with they tin (if yous let them) assay to accept over your life.

So, I didn’t depository financial institution banking company check comments for a calendar month. And, non surprisingly, goose egg bad happened. Sure, a few spammy ones made it through, but they were slice of cake to delete when I got back.

4. You tin’t peradventure ignore electronic postal service for a month – can you?

On these month-long Sabbaticals my mensurate physical process has been to conk to a java-shop each Saturday forenoon too dedicate no to a greater extent than 1 60 minutes to scanning through my electronic mail service for urgent materials. For me, this ordinarily agency 1-2k emails to scan through.

I literally simply speedily read through dependent area lines as fast as I tin tin can looking for genuinely urgent cloth. Most times I don’t uncovering anything urgent inwards plus to ‘cheat’ simply a petty by responding to a few really important (but non urgent) emails.

Urgent stuff would live like:

  • A notice from our original Webhost that our site is downwardly.
  • Our task organisation credit bill of fare expired too our spider web host testament live taking downwards our site if nosotros don’t update the payment method.
  • Our electronic mail provider saying that we reached our monthly confine as good as they won’t send our emails out.

I to a greater extent often than non ignore truly of import stuff that doesn’t autumn into the urgent category. The principal ground existence is that I select hold found most of the fourth dimension I tin tin can hold attending of it when I acquire dorsum. And I take hold yet to have got an issue where I regretted NOT responding patch on interruption.

More on my procedure

Gmail has a cool autoresponder characteristic that I e'er exercise. My touchstone looks something like this:

Gmail autoresponder image








[PRO-TIP] Put the burden of responsibility on the sender

The inaugural duet times I took a month-long intermission, I would acquire dorsum and pass almost an entire calendar calendar week catching upwardly on e-post. I would experience the demand to respond to thousands of emails.

What made it worse was that many (if non most) of the emails I was answering, the sender had forgotten nigh it, already found an reply, or just didn’t attention anymore.

It was almost like I wasted an entire week answering emails that didn’t matter.

Then i solar yr I modified my OOO (Out of Office) responder to place the burden of responsibility back on the sender.

Anyone who sent me an e-postal service at nowadays had 2 options:

  • Email me again after I get back (if it volition withal live of import).
  • Email my assistant (if it is genuinely urgent or if she tin can assist).

This i thing belike gave me 4 days of fourth dimension back. Now, when I got dorsum to work I scanned email over over again as good as answered urgent too maybe really of import emails as good as and so striking the delete clitoris on everything else.

And I could do it without whatsoever guilt because I knew the people would electronic send me one time again if they withal needed to.

Create an urgent e-postal service address

Another thing that worked sound was having a dedicated electronic mail service address for urgent textile. I gave this e-mail service address to my assistant in add-on to all our contract workers too allowed them to occupation their best judgment when determining when to exercise it.

One or ii times I included this e-mail address inward my OOO responder every fleck good. If you don’t choose hold an assistant helping you that isn’t a bad thought.

I as well as so had that e-post forwarded to my phone with notifications on. It should give-upward the ghost without saying that my chief e-post concern relationship was removed from my phone.

In the inwards conclusion v years, I don’t think I choose hold had 10 emails sent to this account.

Social media

Automation of posting to social media is pretty easy. There are tons of tools out there, but we use Buffer.com to have tending of this for us.

Responding to replies?

For me, this falls into the category of spider spider web log commenting, so I but don’t do it when I am on leave of absence. In theory, I could belike batch it with my weekly e-post cheque inward, but I haven’t yet. If unsure, inquire yourself Q1 together with Q2 i time over again.

Clean off your telephone

I have got found the hardest constituent of the whole Sabbatical thing for me is breaking my regular habits. This is why I delete off whatever apps that mightiness tempt me. So delete all social media apps off. Since I usage the urgent e-post address, I don’t delete off the electronic mail app, but I make sure enough that my original e-send business relationship is removed.

Hire a VA (virtual assistant)

I haven’t ever had an assistant, but existence able to select hold someone who tin banking companionship depository financial institution check on things daily is a prissy perk that helps me experience more comfortable. And it is even improve if they tin shroud many of the areas mentioned higher upward. And with it beingness so similar shooting fish in a barrel to discovery VAs these days, it is inward all likelihood worth considering.

Years agone I would simply have got got Linda  peek on the site for me daily so I could relaxation knowing that it was at to the lowest grade notwithstanding at that topographic point. 😉

What I learned

Here are but a few lessons I have got got learned from doing this 6 times at nowadays:

  • Batching email weekly easily frees upward 10+ hours a calendar week.
  • The website is genuinely far LESS probable to intermission when I am non touching it for a month.
  • Almost everyone is truly respectful of your Sabbatical fourth dimension. Just that word carries a weight of importance that almost everyone respects.
  • When I acquire back I realize how unimportant most of the things I do each solar daytime are – because I hadn’t done them for a month too everything has been fine without them. This is a huge assist inwards refocusing my 4th dimension towards things that matter.

The ane-yr Sabbatical

It has taken a while to acquire to this betoken so give cheers yous for bearing with me. The master re-create ground is that most of what was required for me to strength off a twelvemonth Sabbatical was learned from taking calendar month-long ones.

When I uncovering myself thinking that something is impossible, I usage this fox I learned from Tim Ferriss to assist me overcome my steal-sized thinking. I inquire myself,

“Ok, I know it is impossible, but if it WERE possible, how would I do it?”

It is a unproblematic enquiry, but it removes some of the forcefulness per unit of measurement of measurement area together with it gets my brain looking for solutions, instead of resting on the excuse of it beingness impossible. Sometimes, it legitimately isn’t possible for me, but it never hurts to truly dig inwards together with consider.

In this special lawsuit, as I began digging inward too imagining how I could trace this off if I absolutely had to (if my life depended on it), I came to the conclusion that most of the systems I used to handle a 1-calendar month respite would straight apply.

Not all, but most.

My squad ran the acquaint

I am blessed to take hold some phenomenal people working with me. Lauren together with Dawn did almost everything slice I was out.

They took care of:

  • Sending out an e-send each and every calendar week
  • Republishing some of our most pop content from previous years
  • Social media
  • Blog comments
  • Looking for urgent emails
  • And a lot of misc stuff

How much I ACTUALLY worked

I ended upwardly working an average of almost 1 hr each calendar week.

Each Mon I would pick out take hold a coming together with Lauren together with she would run urgent emails yesteryear me to acquire direction as good as nosotros would finalize the weekly e-mail going out that calendar week.

I would in improver to so respond questions from our grade students that had come inwards. This often was the bulk of my “piece of work 4th dimension”, but our students had paid for access to me inwards plus to I wanted to do sure enough that I honored that.

How taking a yr off differed from taking a calendar month off

The biggest difference was just that I was at domicile for most of it. I have got an piece of piece of work (outside the house) that I piece of work from too we decided to hold the rental over the twelvemonth so it could be our topographic point to cash inward 1's chips.

Linda inwards addition to I followed the alternating xx-4 hours pattern that I mentioned higher upwardly for a practiced chunk of the solar yr – giving us each some proficient focus fourth dimension.

Additionally, stepping (past inward add-on to large) away from piece of work for that long but truly changes how you reckon things.  You tin’t assist but view things from the 10,000-pes perspective.

All the minutiae gets pushed to the side every bit the by and big meaningless junk that it is, piece you begin seeing the bigger pic, the things that genuinely thing.

Final thoughts on Sabbaticals

Like I mentioned inward Part 1, at that topographic dot is something incredibly powerful goodness-nigh taking a Sabbatical that I don’t think you lot tin fully understand until yous do it.

I sense similar a Sabbatical salesman, but it has been such a life-changing practise inward my life that I tin’t assistance but encourage people to do it!

Regardless the length, my encouragement to you is to start where you lot are, as well as stretch a petty beyond your comfort zone together with croak for it!

We latterly took our annual month-long sabbatical together with this is what we learned…

Any other questions I tin reply?

Let me know inward the comments! 

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