When business is flourishing and you are ready for a little R&R, it’s time to consider how you will take the time off to enjoy a vacation.
Most business owners struggle with taking a vacation because they realize they will spend the whole vacation feeling guilty and worried about business operations.
It’s easy to plan the vacation and head to the airport, but it’s not easy to enjoy yourself while you’re there with temptations to check in or work from your trip.
Your to-do list never seems to end, making a week or two week vacation seem impossible. When you feel that you always have to be the one to supervise or don’t want to return to an overwhelmingly busy desk, you have to plan your trips extra carefully.
You have to pick the perfect time to go, communicate with others about your absence, turn your cell phone off while you’re there, and do some prep work–like hiring a virtual assistant, setting up automatic replies, or blogging in advance.
There are many tricks you can follow if you desperately need some R&R but are feeling guilty about the idea of a trip. Take a look at the best ways to take a guilt-free vacation from work.
Do some prep work
Who will run your blog while you’re gone? Do you have someone to answer the phones? How will your clients know that you’re unavailable?
Taking the time to prepare for your trip will be the first step to enjoying a guilt-free time away. Set up an automatic response on emails and voicemail, so that your clients know not to expect to hear back from you anytime soon.
Make sure you advise an alternate number for clients to reach your business for assistance and, and let them know when you plan to return to the office. Hiring extra help may be the best way to feel at ease, as you’ll know that calls are covered, emails are being handled, and social media is being managed.
Hire a virtual assistant to help during the days you’ll be gone, and you may find that you want to keep them around for extra help long-term.
If you blog in advance, you can schedule the blog posts to go out during your absence. It’s a great way to keep your clients happy while you are not present to keep them engaged. Draft as many blog posts as you can in order to schedule them for the time you are away, and have some extra posts for when you return to a busy desk.
This is great for sick days too, where you can spend the day resting rather than worrying about the blog post you need to write.
When do you want to travel?
Think about the best time to travel when it comes to your business.
What week can you take off that will make you a bit more guilt-free? Do you have a week each year that is definitely your vacation week, or do you have a week coming up with no meetings scheduled during the the slow season?
Plan this out in advance to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare for a guilt-free vacation.
Go mobile, or not
You may want to let people know your cell phone number in case they need to reach you for emergencies, but on the other hand, leaving your cell phone behind will allow you to forget about work for a week.
If you bring your phone, you’ll feel less guilty when it’s not ringing knowing that your staff and clients have everything under control. If you don’t bring your phone, you’ll be able to really focus on being present and spending time with the people you’re with.
Consider if it’s more important to be able to check your phone once per day or if you’d relax better knowing it’s out of sight, out of mind.
For a longer break
If we’re no longer talking about a short vacation where calls can go to voicemail or email can be set up to automated replies, you will need to consider a few additional measures.
Taking a long break for things like maternity leave may require a bit more prep work.
Make sure your important calls are being directed to your colleagues, or tell your clients in advance who they need to reach for help during your time away.
In some cases, you may need to have your mobile phone number given out to make sure clients can reach you wherever you are. You may want to record a greeting message for your key contacts.
Be sure to schedule out many blog posts for your time away, have auto-responses on your email with details on who to reach and when you’ll be back, and email your current clients while avoiding taking on new clients until you return.
You’ll want to finish up as many projects as you can before you go and be really communicative to your staff and clients about expectations during your absence.
If you’re trying to enjoy a guilt-free absence, whether it’s for the birth of your baby or a much-needed vacation, make sure you take the time to prepare for your absence by working on projects ahead of time, finishing up projects before you go, communicating with your clients, and working with your colleagues to make sure all of the work is under control while you’re gone.
After all, if it’s not a guilt-free vacation, it’s not a vacation at all.