Ah, summer. It invokes visions of barbecues and long, lazy days on the beach. Unless you’re an entrepreneur, that is. Then you’re more likely to visualize yourself with your laptop and phone on that beach, being anything but lazy.
Why do we insist on working when we’re supposed to be taking downtime?
Actually, more than half of us work on vacation. It’s sad, but true: 61% of us work while on vacation. And while, certainly, for some business owners, it’s a necessity to work because there’s no one else around to run the company (I’m thinking you solopreneurs here), there are ways to work around working!
1. Plan Ahead
You know your vacation is coming up, so there’s no reason you can’t start making plans now. Look at what work you have due that week you’re out and start putting additional hours in now to reduce your to-dos while you’re out.
For many of us, it’s completely possible to finish projects early (and what client doesn’t love that?).
2. Talk to Your Clients
Speaking of clients: let them know plenty early that you’ll be taking time off. No client — at least not one you’d want to work with — will begrudge you taking some time off to spend with your family.
Let them know that they’ll need to give you any assignments before a certain cutoff if they need to be completed before you leave. If you have employees, put your clients in touch with one you trust in your absence.
3. Assign a Replacement
Now speaking of employees! If at all possible, find someone — a manager, a trusted assistant — to act in your absence. We’re not talking major decisions here: this person just needs to be the go-to person for clients or new inquiries, as well as answer questions from the rest of your staff.
Spend several days going over what you need covered, and realize this person will not be a full substitute for you. Really boil it down to those absolutely necessary tasks, and let the rest wait for your return.
4. Leave Your Technology Behind
I know I’m asking a lot here! Okay, you’re allowed to bring only your phone, so that you can be available for emergencies. But the rest stays in the office. It’s all too easy to take a quick peek at your work email and then end up 5 hours later not sure where your vacation day went.
You’d be surprised how refreshing it is to take a digital break. We’ve become so accustomed to using screens to communicate, research, and absorb information, that our brains have become too full. A few days without Internet access can rejuvenate you and help you fully focus on your business when you return.
5. Focus on Your Family
Remember your objective: to reconnect with the people you don’t get to see when you’re working. To that end, plan activities to really maximize your time together.
And if you must work minimally, let your family know so they can manage their expectations of spending time with you.
A vacation is meant to provide rest and relaxation, so leave work behind when you go!
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