How to Really Take Time Off During the Holidays

How to Really Take Time Off During the Holidays

The holidays are approaching and for a lot of us, that means cramming a ton of work into a short amount of time. But what if you took a step back, planned some time off, and tried to relax at the end of the year? Sound crazy? Our members told us how to do it.

We wanted to know why it’s important to take time off

For most folks, it’s about taking time to rest and breathe for a moment.

Next, we wanted to know how members planned for time off

Some work ahead to make sure they’re not dealing with a massive amount of work once they re-open their laptop.


Blocking off time so you don’t take on new projects is a great way to protect your vacation.

If you have a team, lean on them for support so you don’t overwork.

Depending on your career, you may have to work a little. But don’t work a lot. And if you’ve built up time-off, book yourself that trip and enjoy it!

Okay, now we know how to take time off. So what should you do with all that free time?

It’s important to make some plans. Even if those plans are “don’t do much of anything.” Enjoy some alone time or get outdoors and away from the screens and noise.

So, we’re bound to get some email from clients and colleagues. How do you handle it?

It’s pretty simple. Turn off notifications. Or, if it helps put your mind at ease, plan a day or time to check in on things. But remember to set boundaries!

We wanted to understand what is “enough” work for members to feel good about taking time off

Communication with clients and colleagues is a big part of this.

Working through what you have on your plate and knowing what’s coming up after the holidays can go a long way towards helping you enjoy time off.

If you have lots of free time during the holidays, how do avoid filling it with work?

These responses speak for themselves.

And the classic last question. We wanted to hear what our members would be taking away from the conversation and implementing into their own lives.

Here’s what they’ll be doing, even if it’s in another country.

Remember, take some time off

Hey, thanks for reading this conversation. We hope you have a great and restful holiday season. If this conversation resonated with you, book a tour and see what the community is all about.

Making the Most of Your Money đź’°

Making the Most of Your Money đź’°

2021 is coming to a close and we’ve got dollar signs in our eyes. Prices are up, labor is short, and supply chains are crazy. Beyond all the external issues, the end of a year is a great time to step back, evaluate our spending, and find ways to do more with the money we have. So that’s what we did in this edition of Slack Sessions. 

Everyone wants more, but why? 

Behind every goal and motivation is a purpose. And we wanted to understand why our members want to manage their money well and save. Here’s what they had to say. 

For some, family and faith is their focus and drive: 

For others, they want the security of a financial safety net: 

And for the sake of those sweet two words, “financial freedom:” 

Tips, hacks, and tricks 

We wanted to talk about practical tips. Things people do when money gets a little tight or they want to save more. 

Tip #1-know where your money is going: 

Tip #2-cut out those impulse buys by shopping smarter: 

Tip #3-mental health affects financial health: 

Getting rid of debt

Eliminating payments on debt and loans is a major way to free up cash. We asked our members for their debt elimination ideas.

First things first, pick a strategy that works for you: 

Understand how you use money and the impact that has on your life (both good and bad): 

Keeping a tab on your money 

All the ideas and tips in the world don’t do much good unless you’re keeping a check on your finances. So we wanted to know how often our members check on their finances. 

It can be a weekly, or monthly task: 

Or it centers around a major financial deadline, like taxes: 

Plus, a little motivation never hurts: 

What does 2022 look like for you financially? 

As we wrapped the conversation up, we covered one of our favorite topics: goals. What do our members want to accomplish financially? 

They want to build on their safety net: 

And plan for amazing trips with their families: 

And save for retirement as self-employed folks:

Love great advice, conversations, and coffee? 

If this conversation spoke to your soul (like it did ours), you should come see SOCO. Book a tour, get a day pass and see what we’re all about here. Maybe you’ll see some of the folks from this conversation in real life. We’re more than a coworking space. We’re a community. And we’d love for you to be part of it. 

Stop Working All the Time

Stop Working All the Time

Work-life balance is a buzzword that’s been around for a long time. You see it in job descriptions and in Glassdoor reviews by over zealous (or disgruntled) employees. But what does it look like in real-life? How do we prevent work from overtaking our personal time? 

That’s the problem we tackled this month. We’re an ambitious group, but when the topic is important, we don’t shy away. 

How did we (you) get here? 

We started the conversation by asking members to elaborate on their current state of work-life balance and how they go to this point. 

Kids are great for setting (or forcing) work boundaries. 

And it’s important to build work time around the things you’re passionate about. 

Practical Tips to Keep Work at the Office

Now, we wanted to know about the goods. We asked members to share some tips and insight they’ve gained on how to avoid working all the time. 

The response was awesome. 

When you’re running your own business, it can be hard to fully disconnect. But having one day away can make a huge difference in your mental and work life. 

Turning off notifications on your phone can eliminate distractions and prevent you from responding unnecessarily to emails. 

And try not to work on your lunch break. 

How to Disconnect from the Connections 

Technology keeps us so plugged into work that it can be hard to ignore emails, projects, and other reminders that come through on our many devices. But there are ways to manage the information overload. 

How the Pandemic Changed Work 

Everyday you probably see an article about remote work or how COVID-19 has shifted the way we work forever. And there’s some truth in that. But we wanted to understand how the pandemic has affected our member’s lives and the separation between work and personal life.  

Much of the change is good. Like causing us to slow down and enjoy the moments of life we may have breezed over before. 

But working at home, alone, has plenty of challenges. 

Establishing Expectations When You Want to Take Time Off

As a freelancer or entrepreneur, taking time off may seem impossible. But you have to do it. Seriously, you really should take time off. Working all the time is not healthy, nor should it be worn like a badge of honor (see our series on hustle culture). 

Checking in with clients can establish a rapport and help you communicate when you’re unavailable. 

Taking Steps for a Better Balanced Life 

We had a great conversation, but candidly, if we don’t implement some of the things we discussed, it doesn’t do much good for us in our daily lives. Here’s what our folks said they’ll do to better manage the work life balance. 

We Support Your Work Life Balance 

In fact, we encourage it. We have conversations like this every month. If you’re already a SOCO member, you can join us each month for #Slack_Sessions

If you’re not a member but you want to be part of a community that supports you and talks about things that matter to your work, book a tour right here.

The (In)Famous To-Do List

The (In)Famous To-Do List

By popular vote, our September Slack Session topic focused on how to manage your to-do list to rule the day instead of the day ruling you. 

It may seem simple enough, but there’s more to getting stuff done than writing it down on a list or tracking it in an app. We’re bombarded with districations, work fires, and a ton of other things that can get in the way of our most productive work. 

First to-do: post a Gif âś…

We kicked off the conversation by asking everyone to post how they manage their days with a gif. 

And we weren’t disappointed: 

The Chaos is Controlled 

Despite the mountain of work and endless lists of tasks, we heard great insight into managing the many distractions that can derail us every day. 

Some were simple but can have a significant impact, like listening to music so you can focus or tuning out social media by turning off notifications. 

Make Your Tasks Flexible 

And so much of our daily work is about our mentality. So remembering to be flexible and move items that aren’t “must-have” to another date is okay. It helps us focus on what’s important and not work to cross things off a list. 

And if you have a team of folks supporting you, don’t be afraid to delegate and utilize their talents. 

Find Your Productivity Sweet Spot

One of the most important things you can do is find your most productive time of the day. Then, whenever that time is, structure your most crucial tasks during that window of time. Save the items that don’t need as much focus for when you’re not as sharp, like 3:00 PM, and the only thing keeping your head off your desk is a cup of coffee. 

Small Steps Each Day Lead to Big Accomplishments

Managing daily tasks can feel like a constant slog. Like you’re just checking off boxes without actually accomplishing. But that’s not true. We have to avoid the “gap” and celebrate small wins each week. 

Conquering Fears

Everyone is busy, so there’s the ever-present fear that you missed something and that can creep into your life. It’s something we all have to manage and develop a system to prevent. 

Keep Work Manageable 

Planning and working on projects in small steps will help you avoid the stress that comes with a looming deadline. 

Change Starts Today 

We asked our folks what they would do today to manage their workday and to-do list instead of it controlling them. 

You’re in the Right Place

If this conversation has you nodding along and saying, “heck yeah, this is great,” you’re in the right place! If you’re already a SOCO member, you can join us each month for #Slack_Sessions

If you’re not a member but you want to be part of a community that supports you and talks about things that matter to your work, book a tour right here. 

Knowledge Bomb: Goal Setting

It’s a familiar cycle. We set a goal, tape it to our desk, and think real hard about it for a few weeks (or minutes, if you left email open). Then something happens. Whether it’s a move, a kid, a layoff, or lack of willpower, most of our goals derail.

Since this is such a shared pain point, SOCO figured what better time to chat about it than in January.

For the first Slack Session of 2019, we met up with a group of members in the #slack_sessions channel to chat through setting and achieving our 2019 goals.

Picking a target for the new year

Some members had big targets, others had small habits they wanted to improve. Things like:

  • Get into digital illustration
  • Cut out (gasp!) caffeine
  • Plan a few snowboarding trips
  • Bulk up various savings accounts (have you read through the Personal Finance session, yet?)
  • Coach a child to a basketball championship
  • Go through the mail every day
  • Take a full month off for vacation
  • Finish a book

Figuring out how the heck to get there

Once members know their goal, it’s less of a matter of what they want to achieve, and more about how. And a lot of members think small steps are the way to go.

How NOT to hit your goals

Just like you can set yourself up for success, you can also set yourself up for failure. If you want to ensure you don’t hit your goals, here are some foolproof ways to do that.

Members’ recipes for nailing goals

Thankfully, members have just as many ideas on hitting your goals as trashing them. When we asked what’s tipped them toward “nailed it” and away from “failed it” in years past, here’s what they had to say.

To reach a goal, you have to put in daily effort. And you want to make sure you have the kind of support system that encourages you to do that. Because doing the work day in and day out? That’s far from easy.

Hey you, don’t miss the next Slack Chat!

If you’re already a member, make sure you’ve joined the #Slack_Sessions channel. It’s where we post updates about topics, times for the next chat, and other related info.

If you’re not a member, how about scheduling a free tour? You’ll get to check out our space, meet a few members, and see for yourself why we rave about SOCO.