Running a community is time and energy consuming, that is why taking a break once in awhile is very important. When I say “take a break” I don’t mean shutting down your community for a couple of weeks but more you taking some time off. Deciding to take a break can have mixed feelings which is natural and shows you want to best for your community, but trust me you got to.
Real life always comes first
Although it sounds obvious, once you are deeply invested into your community keeping track of your real life tasks/obligations might become blurry. Sure, Setting up your new server is way more fun than finishing that stupid paper for your english class but keep in mind that because of your priorities you may fail on your paper and got to redo it at a later date. Don’t let your community screw up your personal life, so keep in mind that real life always goes first
This is a known and natural factor for every owner/staff member. Your motivation can drop due to multiple factors. Whatever the factor might be, be sure not to keep pushing yourself when your motivation is low also, don’t throw in the towel during one of those dips. Once you get the feeling that you are losing your motivation, put your energy in setting up a (small) system so you can actually take a short break, and check what the best timing is for taking a break.
Delegate tasks to your staff
Something really important (and for some, scary) you have to do before taking a break is delegate tasks to your staff team. Once you are away, your community must keep running without your input. Make a list of all your day to day tasks and see which ones your team can take over and which ones have a lower priority (most likely can wait until you get back). Also, inform your staff that you will be taking a (short) break and give them a date (roughly) on when you will be back.
Lack of community/server activity
This can be one of the reasons to take a break as a community instead of you personally. Once you have tried everything in your power to pump new life into your community this might be the only option you have since the lack of activity has a direct influence on your personal motivation as well. Of Course, before you decide to put the community in the freezer, try out new things and organise events to try to get new members.
When deciding to take a break with your community you are not killing it. Take us (Angry-Mob.com) for instance. We transformed from a gaming community to what we are now. This transformation was planned and executed while our community was in hibernation.
Lack of funds
In most cases, running a community costs money and since everyone’s financial situation is different it might happen that you run out of money and are unable to receive donations. It’s very important that you don’t beg for donations, by doing that you give your community the death sentence. You should be respectful and honest with your message towards your community. Because they need to be informed (strive for an open communication) on the current situation.
When you plan it right, taking a break doesn’t mean the end of your community. During your time off you might see things from a different perspective and come up with new ideas and improvements. So take a step back and evaluate on where you are currently, maybe it’s time for a (short) break. Before you pack your bags, be sure to appoint the right staff to perform certain tasks while you are drinking your cocktail on the beach. Ow and don’t take too long, at the end of the day your community relies on your guidance.