What it’s REALLY like getting away as a business owner…. and why you need to!
You’ve heard it time and time again, and still, trying to explain to non-business owners that you don’t really “make your own hours” can get exhausting. The truth is, you spread yourself thin every day to make sure your business runs correctly and that it is successful. No matter how much support you hire or programs you implement, you still find yourself busy as ever even if it isn’t between your typical 9 to 5 hours at a desk. So at what point, as an entrepreneur, do you press pause so that you can experience some R&R (and sanity)? We get it, this business is your baby, but sometimes the great unwind is needed, and that can only be achieved with the great unplug. Just take 5 minutes to read our summer vacation disconnect tips and see if you aren’t already booking your vacation by the end of it.
- Have a responsible team in place
Communication and preparation with your team before you leave is critical. You are usually the only person who knows your day-to-day responsibilities, and as a business owner sometimes those are ever-changing. Equip your team with a detailed and concise outline of what responsibilities need to be completed while you are gone as well as how to perform them. If some of these responsibilities include outside contact with individuals that the team doesn’t usually connect with, make sure you let the other parties know that you will be out of town and that your team is armed to take on these conversations and any questions they may have. Setting your team up for success will also set your business up for success while you are out of the office.
- Set Up a Smart Out Of Office Reply
This seems obvious but not all out of office replies are created equal. In your reply, direct those trying to reach you to a colleague that you have established to take your place during your absence. Additionally, including a return to office date will let people know when you will see their email and when an appropriate time to follow-up with you will be in the event that you didn’t get the chance to return their message/email.
- Set a Schedule While Away
If fully unplugging is not an option for you, set yourself a schedule of 1-2 hours either at the beginning or end of your vacation days to work. If work begins to stretch outside of the allotted time frame, it gets shelved for tomorrow. Be strict with yourself and your boundaries here, especially when travelling with family. Don’t miss out on precious time that should be spent with loved ones.
- When Not Working Fully Unplug
When you are not in the mentioned allotted work time frame, that means the phone is off, or at least out of sight. Once you have set your schedule, communicate to your colleagues at home when your “availability” hours are so they know when they can reach you or when to expect your call. If time zones make this difficult you may need to reconsider your scheduling or stick to emails but still make a definitive plan to disconnect from your phone.
This is your vacation time, try not to get too hung up on anything happening with your work or business. Spend time with your travel companions and unwind. This will actually benefit you and your business in the long run as you will return to the office refreshed, stress-free and full of new inspiration.