Summer is almost over – have you taken full advantage of it?
Last summer, I wrote about how to plan a great staycation. With everything going on in the world, we may soon have to return to the lifestyle of staycations; but before the summer ends, we’re going to talk about preparing for an all-out, actual, middle-of-nowhere away-from-all-means-of-communication VACATION.
First, the BENEFITS of a Vacation:
Much of what I wrote about a staycation applies here as well. Besides it being great fun, getting away from work and responsibilities for a bit can be a huge benefit to your professional life in the long run.
It’s all about getting a fresh perspective. We spend all day at our desks looking at our screens, whether it's at home or in the office. Wouldn’t you love to just step away for a bit?
Not only does this let your mind rest, which resets your clock and prevents burn out, but it can also let you look at things from a whole new perspective when you return! This refreshed state of mind can help you think of new ways to tackle projects at work or inspire you to reorganize things into a more efficient structure, or you might come back with more energy to dedicate to the work you’re already doing.
Prepare for all possibilities:
Do you ever feel guilty or anxious about stepping away? It can be really scary to let things play out without your supervision for a few days! If you’re planning ahead on taking some time off, however, there are some things you can do to mitigate these feelings.
Let your clients know with plenty of time when you’ll be away: If you’re working with clients directly or personally, it might be a good idea to let them know a few weeks ahead of time when you’ll be out of office. This lets them know that you’re thinking of them, and it also allows them to plan their questions/requests/expectations around your vacation. This way, you can both know that you’ve got the major things out of the way; and if anything unexpected comes up, they know when to expect you back.
Dedicate some time to cut down on your To-Do List: It seems a bit obvious, doesn’t it? But sometimes, your To-Do List can get quite lengthy... with the smaller tasks falling to the wayside or being put off. The more you can buckle down and knock off these little things, the better you will feel about leaving. It might be hard to get your To-Do List down to zero, even before a vacation… but the smaller the list, the more manageable it will be when you return.
Plan your return: Of course, things might change in your time away (especially if you take a very long vacation!), but you can create some sort of game plan for when you come back to work, even knowing it might evolve when the time comes. By prioritizing certain things for yourself when you get back, you can cut down on that stress of... “How will I manage it all when I’m working again?” Know which projects need your immediate attention, who you should check in with, and how you can stack projects to keep yourself on track.
By anticipating your vacation and organizing your pre-vacation days as well as your first days post-vacation, you can reassure yourself that you have things under control. Things will be okay if you take a couple days for yourself, I promise!
Be firm on your time: DO NOT BUCKLE when it comes to your days off!
When you commit to going on vacation, don’t waffle on checking in for work. If you prepare well, your clients will know you’ll be away. Set an away-from-office message on your email reminding everyone of your vacation and reassuring them of when you will be back.
Not only have you prepared for this, but so have they. They will be fine. And for you to get the full benefits of your vacation, it’s really important to stay unplugged.
Have a good team to fill your absence: The beauty of a good team, right?
When you have amazing people to back you up, who know their stuff, and who can take care of your clients, there’s really no need to stress, and really no reason to not take time off!
Whether this is a business partner, a trusted Number Two, or some great virtual assistants, leave your baby (your business) in good hands. Trust your instincts to trust your team, and go and enjoy yourself – you deserve it!
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Written by Jordan McAndrew