One of life’s great disappointments upon graduating college and getting a job if finding out that vacation time has been drastically cut down; if you are running a business because you previously thought it would give you a flexible schedule and more time for yourself, even more so.
When employees take a few days off, unless they have that Boss from hell who hounds them even during their private tie, they don’t really have to worry about work so much. For business owners, the idea of leaving the bus without a driver just to waste money on what could have been used to help their business is just too scary, but here’s the thing: everybody needs a vacation.
It isn’t much different than when working on a smaller project, or trying to solve a problem. Taking a few steps back will allow you to see the bigger picture and get a new perspective on things. Your brain is rested and is given the chance to exercise on other things and soon you will be full of new ideas and innovations for your business, and you return to work a new person.
So now you are convinced of the merits of taking a vacation, the next step is to do it right. You will need to go on a trip. Get out of town and see new things. Go to the beach, or go skiing, or at the very least go visit your uncle’s lakeside cabin. Now that’s a real vacation. Not only will you feel better, but your family will thank you as well.
In order to have that vacation without your work following you there you will need to do a few things.
Assign somebody you trust to handle things for you while you are gone. Run by him the tasks and duties he has to accomplish while you are gone. If necessary you can assign more than one person to pick up the slack for you, but I think it is better, and less complicated to have one go-to person.
- Let Everyone Know
Inform everyone that you will be away, when, and for how long as well. It might be a good idea to inform others of your assigned go-to person for any issues or questions. A simple email and an automatic out of office reply will do.
- Have Faith in your People
Your vacation won’t be very fun if you spend every second of it worrying about what might happen. Your employees are capable of handling things themselves, which is why you hired them in the first place. Give them a chance to prove your right.
- Disconnect yourself
This is the toughest thing to do. This means hanging up the business phone and turning off your email. Do not be tempted to check in on them, or to catch up on your emails. Your second in command and/or your assistant will do that for you. Don’t accept any emergency calls either, unless it is from the person you assigned to handle things.
- No Networking
There are times to network and build partnerships, and there are times to simply enjoy the party/dinner. A vacation is the latter.
- Treat your Family
This is the chance to make up for lost time, so to scrimp on them. Take them to places and do things with them that you’ll know they enjoy too.
- Have Fun
I was surprised to hear from a lot of entrepreneurs that going out should be only for the purpose of networking. But if you can’t do anything for the sole purpose of enjoying yourself, what are you doing all this work for?
In short taking a vacation is essentially taking a big breath, letting it all go and leaving. Consider it as a form of therapy, and that when you get back to work, you will be functioning better than ever.