We’ve all been there. You finally take that much-needed vacation, only to experience constant interruptions from staff or clients.
Which is SO frustrating because the whole point of being on vacation is to be able to leave your business behind.
And, taking time off is important. Getting away from your business prevents burnout and inspires new directions to take your business or new initiatives you can adopt.
The good news is that owning a small business doesn’t have to prevent you from taking a vacation and enjoying time away from your small business.
Schedule it! One of my very first steps is to schedule my vacations and downtime when quarterly or yearly planning. I know that if I don’t pencil it in, it’s not likely to happen. It gives me that sense of excitement, something to look forward to when I am glancing through my calendar. It is also critical to help me plan my campaigns and projects around the times when I will be “out of office”.
Why not plan my business activities first? Because I use my own best advice, which is to make sure that my cup is full so that I am better able to serve my clients. Plus, I usually come back inspired with new ideas to share...#winning!
Notify Clients & Staff. I like to give my clients and staff plenty of time to prepare for my time away. I’m protective of my boundaries when I am “out-of-office”. My downtime is a sacred space for myself and an uninterrupted time to connect with my family. I turn my phone off and will check my messages once per day, in case of an emergency.
Get Your “Ducks In A Row”. It’s true that I find it really easier to be super productive in the few days before I go on vacation. Before I leave, I work hard to make sure that all my “ducks are in a row”, so that I can relax and unwind. Even if you have to work late for a few nights before you leave, you’re going to rest better knowing your physical and digital inboxes are empty and that there’s not some important task left half-done.
Set Up Automations. Use your tech to your advantage friends! You can set up an autoresponder for email! This helps answer common questions, communicate when you’ll be back in touch, let clients know who they can reach in your absence, and provide links to commonly asked-for resources.
Many of us are already planning and scheduling out our social media. I just confirm that I have my content scheduled for the time when I am away, plus I like to add an extra week before and after my trip, to make it easier for last-minute activities and catching up when I return.
Then it’s just a matter of tying up any extra loose strings before heading out: pay outstanding invoices, respond to emails, confirm plans with clients and staff, and get everyone what they need before you leave.
Be In The Moment. Embrace your time away by allowing yourself to be fully present. Focus on the people you’re with and the purpose for which you went on the vacation to begin with. Enjoy doing something wholly different from your usual workday routine. This is the whole point of vacations. Miss it, and you’ll miss out.
Plan For A “Buffer” When You Return. My secret for returning to work fully rested is planning a few days of downtime when I return. I need time to “reintegrate”. There is always laundry to do, grocery shopping, getting my kiddo prepared to return to school. Plus, I like to have a day to quietly respond to emails, check-in with staff before I do the “full return”.
In order to be Your Best Self Doing Your Best Work, you need to schedule yourself first, which includes taking some much-needed downtime.
By doing a bit of prep work before you leave, you can set the tone for a stress-free vacation. Plus, you’ll come back with renewed energy, creativity, and increased capacity for growing or scaling your business.
Hi there! I’m Jordan Eades, Holistic Business Coach and founder of Your Best Business LIfe. My passion is guiding women business owners who want to make a big impact in business—without sacrificing what matters most.
Your Best Business Life coaching provides the keys to overcoming overworking; allowing you to create a sustainable and profitable business, focus on the work that fuels your passion, unapologetically invest in self-care, prioritize experiences that light you up, and provide the support you need to thrive.