How to Prep Your Work for a True Vacation
posted on September 14, 2018 | by Michele Lando
Earlier this month, I went on vacation to Maui and didn’t even bring my laptop! A full week to completely unplug and leave work at work. Even as a small business owner and entrepreneur, I was able to fully enjoy my trip, sans work. (Yes, it’s possible!) While there’s no magic to it, it takes a bit of time and preparation to ensure that you can leave work, relax, and enjoy your vacation. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but it’s completely possible to take time off without getting stressed about it, and I’m sharing four ways to prepare for a true vacation so you can leave work at the office.
The best way to prepare for a vacation is to start preparing for it early. If you know that you’re going to be out of the office for a specific time period, prep for it a few weeks in advance. Look at the list of what needs to be accomplished while you’re away and start putting things into place. Is there an email list you can put together or an extra memo you can write now for you to use when you’re away?
I start creating articles and blog posts to keep on hand a few weeks ahead of time when I find some downtime during the day. This helps to create a back stock and gives me the opportunity to keep articles on hand when I need to get something live on the website. Spending even an extra hour each day will make up for your time away, and it’s so worth it!
Take note of recurring events
Do you send out a weekly newsletter? Do you follow up with clients periodically? Make a list of what needs to get done each week and keep it on hand. This way you can check off various items and make sure that each task still gets accomplished before, after, or while you’re away. This will also help you stay organized on a regular basis. If you know that something needs to be done weekly, you’re more likely to stick to a schedule and be consistent with your work.
For me, this list includes posting articles on my website and social media, sending out newsletters, and following up with clients as needed.
The saying “work smarter, not harder” is around for a reason. We live in an era where we can automate some areas of business and it won’t make any difference. Social media posting and email marketing are simple and easy ways where you can automate to save you time and brainpower.
Once you have the content, you can automate the communication plan so it sends without a second thought. By doing this, you are ensuring consistency. You’re also giving your clients the same services without having to physically be present for it. I use Hootsuite and MailChimp to get everything automated and set up. This way, when I’m away, clients and followers don’t have a lapse in content.
You can automate posts for up to a month away, so this is a great tip to use even if you aren’t out of the office. By spending time automating communications, you can save time and put your mind to better use.
Clearly communicate that you’ll be out of office
An essential part of preparing for a summer vacation is to clearly communicate it. Tell your peers and clients ahead of time the dates you will be away so there’s no confusion. Make sure that this is marked and communicated in several locations, too.
Warning though! No matter how many places you communicate that you’re out of the office, people will try to contact you. It’s important to accept that and understand that as long as you’ve labeled and communicated your out of office status, there’s nothing more you can do.
A good rule of thumb is to put an away message on your email and record a voicemail which clearly states that you are out of office along with your return date. If you have a website, you can mark your business as “closed” for a specific time period.
It can feel impossible to unplug and leave work at work, but doing so is extremely important. If I can leave my business for a week without working, I promise that you can, too. At the end of the day, we all need a little rest and relaxation!
Have you recently taken a trip without actually working? How’d you do it?