The life of an entrepreneur can sometimes be romanticized. Many, like me, get to work from home ( in their PJs if they so choose). You get to make your own schedule. You can travel whenever you’d like, right? Well yes….you can travel, But can you truly vacation?
Can you step away from your phone and email and really be present in the moment? That’s the challenging side to being an entrepreneur, vacation or otherwise.
So what can you do to ensure your vacation doesn’t become a remote work location?
Do not fret.
An enjoyable vacation is in your sight IF you plan.
(Planning seems to be a common theme in my writing.)
Start With Your Day to Day Systems
Preparing for and planning for a vacation starts with your day-to-day systems and processes. Look at tasks you can delegate while you are away. Having your workflows documented in a system like Asana makes this easier. It may also be a good time to consider outsourcing. What are some things in your business that you loathe? What do you put off because you don’t enjoy it or it doesn’t come easy to you? Marketing, social media, bookkeeping? Does anyone want to write my blogs? Onboarding new contractors or employees take time so do not try to do this the week or even a month before you leave. If you have a brick-and-mortar store or an office outside your home, make sure you have hired and trained a manager or admin well in advance who you trust to keep things running smoothly.
Use Your Calendar
Use your calendar, not just for appointments but your blocks of work and personal tasks. Can you identify a slow period in your business that would make a vacation more enjoyable? Can you slide some time blocks to the period before or after your vacation? I am writing this blog a week earlier than scheduled because I plan to be on vacation when this goes live. Am I working a little later on a Wednesday evening, yes. But it will be worth it when I am at the beach celebrating my 24th wedding anniversary with my husband. I also made sure my vacation is planned for the last week of the month because that tends to be a slower time in my business. I know all of this because I plan and schedule my responsibilities.
Being well-prepared for vacation also starts with establishing boundaries during your day-to-day operations. Do you allow your clients to call and text you at all hours? Then it is likely that will happen on vacation. Just because you work from home does not mean you need to be available 24/7, despite what your clients or customers may think. If you have not set boundaries before, start now. Put the away message on your email at 5:00 pm. Do not answer calls or texts received after 5 pm until the start of the next business day. Very few of us work in emergency situations. Trust me, your clients will be ok. If you have to work (or maybe like me you choose to do a little work) set boundaries. Maybe you set a boundary to only check email once a day. If you can’t stick with that, remove the email app from your phone temporarily. Again, very few of us work in emergency situations. Trust me, your clients will be ok.
Going into vacation mode also takes a mind shift. As small business owners, we have to decide that our sanity and health are just as important as keeping clients and customers, if not more so. We have to make taking care of ourselves a priority so we can better serve them.
Last step, enjoy!
Life is short. Breathe in every moment. Enjoy your well-earned holiday. Oh and call me if you are a few months out and want to outsource your bookkeeping!