It’s a holiday! So we’re making the case for how important taking breaks is. Coming from producers who have worked on shows that don’t take breaks, we feel this is essential. Not just for mental health and physical health, but to actually sustain the long-term strategy for your show and team’s success.
In this episode we cover why taking breaks is essential, how to set yourself up to take stress-free breaks, and some pro tips about how to make sure you prioritize this if you happen to be one of those “working all the time” types.
“Seasons, seasons, seasons.”Christine Baird
- (1:45) How to feel good about taking a break when you are focused on a project
- (6:48) Tips for setting yourself up to take a stress-free break
- (15:30) How to optimize your schedule and mindset to fit how you work
- (20:00) Why this is so important
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Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host, Christine Baird.
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. Being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry. This is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. Tune in weekly to learn how to think like a producer.
This is great. You’re so different on this part of it. Okay. So
Sweet. Um, do you want, who do you want to start?
How about you start, toss it to me and then we’ll, we’ll toss back and forth.
Okay, perfect. Welcome to this episode of think like a producer. We are in a holiday season, happy Thanksgiving. If you are in the us or another place, if you choose to celebrate, uh, we have a little bit different topic to cover today. We are of course, feeling very grateful, but there is a, another element to holidays and production that we thought would be very timely to dive into. And the reason we’re covering this today is because we have seen firsthand many times amongst many very successful influencers, celebrities, people who do a lot of content creation, that if they don’t learn how to take holidays and breaks, spend time with their family, take vacations on, or that there’s an ebb and flow to the seasons of life. And if you just hustle your way through 24 seven, three 65, it goes South someday. Sometime things will start to unravel and burnout is often what happens or worse. So we are diving into on this episode, how to strategically plan for holidays, vacations trips, family time as a producer, whether that means you’re the host of your show or you’re working production. And you’re supporting the host in making these strategic decisions. So Tiff, talk to us about why this is so important.
I just, I just know the people who are like me are listening and their stomach is starting to hurt. Cause they’re like, please don’t tell me to take a break. Like I just want to keep going. I’m pushing and I don’t want to slow down. If I slowed down, then I’m being stagnant or I’m I’m I can lose business. I’m losing money. If I take a break, if I take a couple of days and the reason why I know that this is going through some people’s heads, cause this is how I feel currently right now when Thanksgiving season, like this is hard for me, especially because I am not home with my family. So even though I am taking a break, this is a holiday time. I’m not around the people that make it feel like a holiday. And for this recording of 2020 and pandemic time, it’s probably going to be how a lot of us feel we can just work on Thanksgiving day.
We can work on Thanksgiving weekend. And really this is an invitation, um, more so than anything else to give yourself a creative break. And if you’re listening, most likely, you’re a creative. Even if you, you know, you’re a lawyer by day, you have to be creative in everything that you do. And there’s something about having the space for yourself, having the space to not only take a break into rest, it’s not like a Netflix and chill call to action. It’s more we understand. And we’ve met so many people who understand that you, if you take the time off you, you almost, re-energize your battery of creativity. So when, if you’re feeling really stuck right now, especially like these ideas, you, you have that you’re trying to grow your business. You’re not really sure. My invitation to you is that look at how many, how much you’re working all day.
Have you had a break in the last month, six months year. Um, and I mean a true break where there’s nothing on your calendar whatsoever. Cause some people will probably understand this. Christine knows this about me. I have not really had a true vacation. Um, it’s, it’s like I have a couple of days with the family and everything, but we’ve worked through holidays on shows. We’ve had shows that didn’t have season breaks or holiday breaks. And I remember working on Christmas day, um, and my family like looking very confused cause I’m on my laptop and I’m trying to get this edit done, uh, because it was, it was necessary. So we have interviewed people like Daymond John. I just remember we had an episode, um, that we recorded a couple podcasts with him on different shows. And he talked about, you know, he, he is a rags to riches entrepreneur.
He is that hustler in the dirt, in the grind, but his health was always second. I remember one episode he talked about having cancer and this big lump in his throat and neck. I had no idea what it was almost ignored it. I think if, unless I’m wrong, Christine, I think he ignored it for a little while. Um, and just kinda kept going. And you went to the doctor and yes, it was full blown cancer in his neck that he had to get removed and all those different things. And luckily he’s okay, but it was such a wake up call from him. Just like not sleeping, not eating well, not taking these breaks was actually physically harming him and causing things into his, his body. And it’s not funny. It’s just so scary to think about for me just wanting to not take a break.
Um, one last thing I’ll share and then we’ll get into how you can do this. But the reason why I think is so important, uh, I remember when I first moved to Los Angeles six years ago, my cousin would invite me out everywhere. She would be like, Tiff, like I’m going to go out with my friends, can show with us for, you know, new year’s Eve, all these different things. And I would always say no. And one piece of it, it was, I had didn’t really have a lot of money. And I was like, I don’t really want to go spend it. The second piece was like, I had made up in my head that enjoying time or hang out with people, what’s going to slow me down as a person was going to take away from my success. If I spend any time with anybody else, even if it was just for dinner, anything I had just made up in my mind that it was going to be the reason why I failed.
If I were to say yes to any of these invitations. And so I’m trying to just say these different things, because I’m not coming from a place of being on a soap box. You deserve a break. You should take a break as a person who’s really good at taking breaks. That is not me. That is not, it, it doesn’t come naturally for me. But what we’re going to talk about in this episode and what Christine is going to lay out is some of the tangible things, because I think it’s good to check in of why this is important, but it really is also. So tell me now, what exactly can I do right now to set myself up for the upcoming holidays in December in January so that I have that creative space and I can, and I can actually give myself the time like I deserve it. That is what I’m telling myself every day, as we’re in these holiday seasons, I deserve to take a break. I am worth it. My creativity is worth it. My health is worth it. All these things are worth this break so that I can enjoy life every day. So Christine, as I come down a bit from my, this is why you deserve it. Uh, can you give us some tangibles on what we can do to set ourselves up to win and to be able to take a break without stressing out about it?
Hmm. With pleasure. This is something I feel so strongly about and not because I’ve always been good at it. Like I did similar to Tiff. I’ve had many years of my career where I felt super guilt about taking a holiday. If I wasn’t performing well enough, this goes back to my career in sales, before I ever worked in production. If I was behind on my sales goal, like this stuff runs deep. So we’re just speaking to you from a place of empathy. Like we’re not better than you. Like, we figured it out, catch up. It’s like, no, we we’ve really been there. And at times we still do struggle with it. So here’s some of the best tools that we found one batch recording. Now, if you’re already familiar with this, you understand it, but I’m just gonna explain it briefly. Batch recording means that you purposefully plan to record multiple pieces of content at once.
Whether it’s, you know, you have a whole morning in the studio, if you’re filming that might be what’s required. Or if you are doing audio only or something, that’s not quite as involved, maybe you do several episodes in a day, whatever your structure is, you kind of know batch recording means you’re creating multiple pieces of content in one sitting you plan ahead, everybody on the team knows like, okay, today we’re doing this, this and this. Here’s the outlines. Here’s how long here’s the deliverables. It’s it means you are organized. And it means you’ve planned ahead, but obviously it’s worth it. This is the point we’re trying to make. So batch recording is so helpful. It is so helpful. I can’t emphasize this enough, especially if you’re in the podcast industry where this is expectation that you release or more than one a week, batch recording is often the only way that that can really happen. Now we’ve worked on shows that did not batch record ever. And they were very challenging and led to very little holidays and breaks. And we worked on shows the batch record and it was quite dreamy and magical and wonderful. So this isn’t a hard and fast. You’ve got to figure out the rhythm that works for you. Maybe you are an audio only podcaster who does really well recording your episodes at midnight in bed. I’m not saying I’ve never done that, but it works because like nobody needed to know.
And that was the time I had and it worked. So the point here is get realistic with yourself. How big your team is? Are you doing video? Are you doing audio? What’s your content schedule? And if you’re gearing up for a holiday or a vacation, a wedding, perhaps I went through that this summer where I took a full week and a half off for my wedding and honeymoon. So it doesn’t have to just be a holiday. Like these are significant moments in your life, right? Obviously the baby is coming or something big, right? We’re doing this big family vacation and I need to unplug because we’re literally going out of self-service for a week, whatever it is, plan ahead. And two months in advance is not too early to plan as much time as you can give yourself, but at least a month ahead of time, you’re going to want to look down the pipeline.
Right? So for example, for my wedding, I notified all of my clients, who I was actively producing their shows. I notified them six weeks before my wedding, Hey, by this date, which was several weeks before my wedding, I’m going to need everything from you that you’re going to want to have go up during this timeframe, right? Be generous, give people some time to prepare and be a good team player and batch record. And batch recording is always a good idea for most people. Unless of course you have like a news theme show that needs to be recorded in the moment. So there’s an element to this that you’re going to have to get creative and figure out how to do yourself, but just know that batch recording is a super awesome tool. If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend giving it a try and realize that it may require you to do something new with your content. If you’re like, I usually do two hour long interviews, Christine, I can’t do four of those in a day. You’re right. That would not go out. So maybe if you realize you have a holiday coming up and you want to keep releasing content while you’re gone, maybe you do mini episodes and you can batch record many episodes and you do a mini series. And that’s how you approach that. So there’s options give flexible people, understand you’re human. So
Other options I’ve heard too, just not to cut you up for another option or too, like some people take pieces of the episode. So if, if you do these long, you know, 60 minute, 90 minute, and you do like a quick mashup for the holiday season, right? You can come up with a couple of episodes that are themed now. So you don’t have to have this original content. Maybe you were like, I’m really scared to record solo. Um, so take what’s already been working. I mean, this is something we’re going to cover a lot because that is my whole philosophy is like, we take the big chunk and break it down into small pieces. Um, and another thing Christine said, like do it a month ahead. Today is Thanksgiving. We have Kwanzaa, Christmas and Hanukkah coming up in just about a month. So this is the perfect time. You don’t have to feel like you’re behind. This is exactly a month ahead of the holidays that are coming up that are pretty major, um, that you can get started with this today.
Hmm. This is so good. I’m feeling. I’m just feeling so hopeful for everyone. Okay. So batch recording, like we said, there’s a lot more there and get creative and we can go into it in future episodes, all the different ways you can repurpose content and try different things. The second point I’m going to make, and Tiff knows this is one of my favorites. And I repeat it constantly is to consider taking a season break, whether you have a podcast or a different kind of show, whether you’re like a vlogger or who knows what season breaks are loud, they’re loud. And they’re encouraged just like with a TV show. It is highly favorable for you and your mental and emotional wellbeing to take breaks. And a couple of years ago, the podcast platforms came out with the option to start marking your episodes in seasons, which was huge.
So now people are used to it and it’s totally acceptable for you to say, Hey guys, this is the final episode of the season. What an incredible season it’s been, we’re taking a break for the holidays and we’ll be back in January. Or let’s say you realize your summers are just crazy. Your kids are home from school. You guys do family vacations. Maybe you take the summer off. And so your season wraps in, may you pick up again in September, it doesn’t have to go on like this traditional calendar. You might realize that every winter let’s say, I don’t know, maybe your industry blows up in the winter. And so you realize that’s my busiest time of the year. I can’t do a show during the winter, but summer is like easy breezy. And that’s when I do my shows. So season breaks are huge.
I tell all my clients this and I heavily emphasize it. There’s no rules around what makes a good season for a podcast. And honestly, as we’ve learned from television, a more traditional media route, like different shows have different seasons. Like some shows have long seasons, some shows have shorter seasons. You can feel out what makes sense for you and your audience and the goals of your show. And so when you are beginning the season, this would be thinking months in advance, right? The kind of the inception of your show. I want you to think very seriously. What realistically does my year calendar look like? When do I have the most time when I have the least time? When does it make sense for me to start a season rapid season? And just so you know, your, your season could be five episodes long, and maybe you release three seasons a year.
Like there are no rules here. Maybe you were like, no, I love it. I want to do an episode every week. I never want to take a break. Awesome. Maybe you do 52 episodes a year, but you actually batch record at these key months where you have extra time. So that the months when you don’t, you don’t have to miss seasons season seasons, I will never stop talking about it. It makes a massive difference. It lets you be human. It lets you plan it lets your team be human. It lets them plan. And it really encourages your audience to know there is a plan. We are on a schedule. We are coming back. There was a theme for this. We did let you know what was going on. We’ll talk more in the later episodes about how to message taking a break properly. But as long as you’ve looped your audience into what’s happening there, they’re on board. They’re stoked for you. So batch recording, seasonal shows, these are two extremely valuable tools.
Yes. It’s all marketing strategy by the way too. It’s like if you take, because I think my brain is like, man, the people who are just, just got the permission to take a break from Christine, probably so happy because they thought they had to do everything. And then like the other people who were like me are like, but then like what do I do in between, um, what I’m not recording, right? I don’t have my season. And so I encourage the over analytical people like me to also think about the marketing strategy that helps with this. So if you have two seasons a year, then you can go back and hear what worked best. You can cut small clips and repost. You can do so many things that allow you to understand what was working and then help you plan for the next season or the next, you know, release like doubling down on what’s working.
So as we’re talking about is planning ahead and getting ahead of this, it’s not meant to be overwhelming or anything. It’s meant to be super fun because if you know, okay, this is when I really need to be on for all my fellow procrastinators, then you know, okay, cool. This is when I get to be off. And it’s also, I don’t know how you feel about this, Christine, but I feel like it’s almost a bit more energizing for me when I know when I know that if I, when I start to get sleepy, right? Like, or I get a little tired or I need so sort of, um, re encourage myself if I know that I’m doing this and I’ll be done in four weeks, then it’s, it’s a little bit more of a mental thing too, for me to go, okay, just push through because you’ll have a break soon and then I can enjoy the break. But yeah. So just think about that. If you plan, if you’re planning ahead, if you’re thinking seasons, your marketing strategy can also come into suit. So it’s not like you’re not doing anything for those who always want to do something. Um, you are just sort of giving yourself time to analyze your audience and see what’s working and plan ahead, even for the content, by having those breaks. This is cool. I like this a lot, trying to coach peer, like take a break, tip, take a break.
So this is the best guy I’m coaching. Okay. So to kind of wrap it up because it is Thanksgiving and you know, we’re on holiday, so we’re glad you’re listening, but don’t feel like go take a break
By the way, to, to Christine’s bulk. Like we already having gone through this, we bulk record, like, just so you all know, we record two episodes at a time. Like we always want to be ahead. We understand what we are both so busy. This is not our main form of business. So we know that we need to be ahead of the game. So we did not record this last week or, you know, the day before Thanksgiving, this was way ahead of time. We thought about it. We thought it through. And so just to encourage you, but to also say it, like we are the proof in the pudding is that how people put it, we’re taking our own advice. And so the bulk recording and making that a part of your schedule that is super helpful. I think also like a tangible that I want to mention before we get into the wrap up here.
Like I know weekends are not my time to plan. Weekends are my time to get a lot of work done because I don’t get texts notifications. I don’t get emails typically on weekends cause everyone else is chilling. So weekends are usually when I get a bulk of my, my real work done. And during the week, I’m almost like kind of playing catch up a little bit for when people need me. I don’t know when I’ll get a call from a client. So if there’s a certain day of the week that, you know, you’re better planning. Like some people I know take Wednesdays off completely because they know that they won’t take the weekend off. Wednesdays are their day to chill and relaxed what to do. Some of this bigger vision planning pick a day of the week, that’s really gonna support you and be realistic like, okay, today it is Thanksgiving day.
I’m a show from, with my family and get off of this podcast like, uh, Christine and Tiff told me to relax and take a break. But also what day in the next week, can I set aside the time to now plan ahead for the next month? Just give yourself that, like what Christine said, there are no rules. So even if right now you are a show and you’re used to doing 52 episodes a week because you’ve already done. I mean a year, sorry, 52 episodes a year. And you, cause you’ve already done that. You can also come up and say like, I’m done. I’m going to do seasons. I’m going to do holiday breaks. Like you’re never locked into a certain structure because this is all, these are all your rules. So I just want to kind of, as we’re wrapping up, getting into that encouragement of like, you can make this up exactly the way you want it to be, but also work with what works with you. If you know that Saturdays and Sundays are not the time to plan, pick your Tuesday, pick your Wednesday pick whatever day is going to give you the most time to sit with your vision and let it come together. So you can plan ahead in a fun way, because this is supposed to be fun. No, one’s forcing you to have a podcast like this.
I love this. Yeah. To wrap it up, we want to reiterate how important we think this is and why we took a whole episode early in the show to cover this. This isn’t just our self-care tips trend hashtag 2020 self-care. This is much more powerful than bubble bath and a spa visit. This is the kind of stuff that can make or break your career, your wellbeing, your relationships. We’re going to just get serious here for a minute that we are talking about this because we’ve seen firsthand in our own lives, in the lives of many, many very successful people that we’ve worked with and been in the room. As they’ve told these stories themselves, this is universal a very, very few people and they know who they are, are the kind of people who just can turn and burn and it gives them life and they don’t have a need for breaks.
And so we are saying this very seriously, because we want you to be successful for the long haul. We want you to think like a top level producer for your life, for your career, for your content, for the shows you work on. And this is something that is essential. And that’s why we’re making a big point out of it. You may think I don’t make enough money to take a break. I’m not far enough along. I can rest. And, you know, take holidays later when I’ve made it, this kind of thinking leads to burn out and it’s so real. And it also is unfortunately takes a big dent out of your creativity. If you don’t plan ahead and you don’t give yourselves holidays and vacations and breaks, it’s very, very difficult to sustain creative production. And so we are offering this as a note of encouragement and love, but also a very serious call for you to think of your holidays and your vacations as paid time off.
Now we know most of you listening are probably either entrepreneurs or contractors or freelancers. Like what are you talking about? Christine? Nobody pays me to take time off. Well, think of this as your paid time off, because it will literally repeat you tenfold if you do it the right way. And if you honor it for what it can give back to you, not just you, but your team, everyone around you, especially if you’re the leader of your brand or your show, it will make a massive difference. If you have the discipline to plan ahead and we are encouraging you always from over here, the other end of the mic, because we know the power of doing this properly and the cost of doing it improperly.
Yes. And here’s a great tip for those of you who are like, I’m going to try this, but I’ve failed at this before. Hold yourself accountable. By telling someone you really, really care about. So before your recording, I told Christine my niece, my seven year old niece, cause she hasn’t seen me all year. Pandemic times, all those different things. She asks me, when are you coming home for Christmas? I told her I would be December 20th. She wrote it down on a sheet of paper. And she has been every time we talk, which now she, she is a lot. She texts me a lot, but every time we talk, she reminds me, you’ll be here December 20th. You’ll be here December 20th. And just by her saying that I also check in with myself because I, like I said earlier in the episode I have been home and I’ve worked and I really want to be there with her.
Like I really want, if I’m there, I want to be present. And I want to see her because I missed an entire year of her life. Um, so if hope she holds me accountable, she’s seven years old, but she will never let me forget that I will be home December 20th. So if there is someone, if, if you’re not able to travel this year, if you are going to be home or if you’re going to be traveling, let someone, you know, um, that you really care about, let them know from now, these are the four days, um, at the end of the month or in December that I will be on a break and I will be available to just chat with you or I will be home or I’ll be present with every conversation that we have because they know you, they know us some days we’re busy.
Some days we have to be quick, it has to be a five minute conversation or we can’t really dive in. And so to be able to set aside that time for this person that you really care about, I think that’s going to make a big difference. So if you are someone who plans like this, but also has failed before at keeping this promise to yourself, uh, we would like to invite you to invite someone, to hold you accountable and remind you of this in the best way ever because, and you can look forward. You can look forward to being present with that person. So there’s just another tool, another tangible tool, uh, because we, we know that we’re human and we, we say these things, we try these things out and it doesn’t always work out, but there are ways that we can support ourselves by having, by using our community and our tribe to support us too.
So good. Okay. That’s a wrap as always, if you loved the episode, please share it with somebody that you know, would benefit greatly and leave us a rating or a review on Apple podcasts for the show we read every review. It makes such a difference in helping people find the message. And of course, check out all the goodies on our YouTube channel, at worthfullmedia.com. And we cannot wait to see you on another episode,
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production. Massive thanks to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork.
If you are ready to launch your podcast, you can check out the Worthful Media podcast course at worthfullmedia.com and as a special gift to our listeners, we are giving you $50 off the podcast course. All you have to do is use promo code T L A P. If you have launched your podcast or YouTube channel and show, and you looking for the community to support you as you continue to grow, as well as some Q and A directly from Christina and myself, then please check out our think like a producer channel. The link is in the show notes.