When you are an employee in someone else’s business, the idea of taking a summer vacation is usually pretty straightforward. There are systems in place for you to be able to do so, and when you leave for vacation you – well, you just go. You may check your email once in a while, but in most cases, you can leave your work worries behind for the week.
When you are an entrepreneur, summer vacation becomes a lot more daunting. Your business can so quickly become the center of your world. And rightfully so! It’s your reputation, your legacy. Nobody can do precisely what you can do. It’s why you are the owner.
It’s extra important to ensure that you can enjoy your summer vacation and be fully present with your family while also taking care of everything at work. Striking this balance is delicate, but not impossible. You just must use foresight and creativity before your vacation if this is all going to work.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. Before you leave, provide some extra training to your most trustworthy employees and allow them to take on a few additional responsibilities. This will help you in the long run with work-life balance, too. If you don’t have employees or don’t feel comfortable letting someone else hold the reins so much inside your business, consider a virtual assistant. VAs can be a cost-effective way to streamline tasks and keep all those “little things” from falling through the cracks in your absence.
When you’re booking accommodations, be wise. Select a space that has wifi, and maybe even a business center. If nothing else, it’s a quiet, dedicated space to plug through your to-do list. If you’re in an Airbnb or similar setting, or your hotel doesn’t offer a place to work, look around your destination to find a coworking space. With technology at the core of our business operations anyway, it’s probably not a big deal if you can jump into the staff meeting via video conferences like Zoom or use apps designed for inter-office communication like Slack.
Pre-plan your working time in small blocks. This sets expectations for and reduces disappointment from your travel mates. While they’re enjoying a lazy morning sleeping in, maybe you get up early and check some boxes before breakfast without missing any quality time. If your children are young, plan to work when they nap. Set boundaries and stick to them.
Give 100% of your focus to whatever you’re doing. When it’s family time, make it really be family time. Turn your notifications off or set your email host to push messages through less often. Set an away message to auto-reply to incoming emails that tell customers or clients exactly when they can expect to hear back. Use the “Do Not Disturb” feature on your phone; you can set critical phone numbers to ring through while the others are directed to voicemail automatically.
You can have it all! You can run a successful business and enjoy a relaxing vacation. It takes a little more work on the front end, but it’s all worth it in the long run.
Happy summer vacation!