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Can You Really “Vacation” When You Own a Business?
When was the last time you took a real vacation? You know, the one where you completely unplug from your phone and computer? Unfortunately, many small business owners don’t feel they can take a vacation. For example, how often have you found yourself working on your vacation? Whether it’s a crisis that demands your attention or you just feel like you can “get ahead after your vacation” if you just finish something instead of relaxing.
Of course, you feel attached to your work and are undoubtedly accountable for every action in your business; however, it’s still critical to take time for yourself and enjoy the hard-earned money you make the rest of the year. And research shows that if you don’t unplug at some point, you’ll likely suffer from stress and burnout.
Here’s how to establish healthy vacation or holiday boundaries:
- Review coverage for critical daily and weekly tasks. Once you’ve scheduled your vacation, alert your team, clients, and other key contacts for coverage in your absence. Map out any deliverables or planning before you leave to clear as much off your plate as possible. Then, delegate tasks and create a backup plan for issues that may occur.
- Clarify communication boundaries. If people know you’re available 24/7 to manage problems, they won’t take on additional responsibilities. Be clear about your availability and what scenario is a time to contact you. For example, you may want to establish a daily, timed check-in call just to stay on top of what’s going on but stick to that schedule.
- Use automated check-in options. If you use an automated task management system, such as Planner, Trello, or Asana, ask employees to update tasks regularly so you can see progress and respond once a day (as needed). That way, you can avoid hearing more about your business than needed. Remember, the idea is that you’re trying to unplug and relax.
- Plan for your return. It’s a good idea to prioritize your first day back the day before your return. For example, scan your inbox and either delete the email, delegate the task, or deal with it on your first day back. Check in with your team to learn any priorities needing your immediate attention on your first day back. If you don’t have employees, schedule check-in times with your clients to discuss pending projects and other critical issues needed during your first week back.
While it may be unrealistic to disconnect entirely from your work, you can limit your exposure to work stress while on vacation. The fact is that relaxing and enjoying your hard-earned money will help you rejuvenate and feel even more motivated upon your return.
- CATEGORIES: Business Solutions