Last week I shared why you must take time off, even if you’re just developing your business or haven’t yet hit all your goals.
Because, let’s face it, no business is so perfect they reach all their goals all the time.
You might be on board with taking time off but actually executing a plan to leave feels like another project you don’t have time to finish. Here are 3 things you must do before taking time off (if you want your business to be standing when you get back).
#1 Book your Trip
Most entrepreneurs need to actually leave home if they intend to get any rest whatsoever but if you’re planning a staycation you still need to put that time on your calendar. I mean I’d recommend you get in the car, drive out of town and then right back home to declare you’re now on vacation if it helps.
When you book your flights, hotels and all the excursions and details that come with a vacation put those on your calendar. At the same time, remove any recurring events that you’re not going to personally do. For me that means team meetings are postponed by a week, I can balance my bank accounts when I get home and I absolutely do not need reminders for posting on social media while I’m gone.
If you’re taking long flights or your vacation time is an ultra marathon in disguise, consider taking a day on either side of your “official holiday time” to rest and recover before jumping into calls on your first day back.
#2 Communicate team boundaries
If you’re leaving for 48 hours or more, then you need to have a simple conversation with the team members who will be running things in your absence. The goal is to share what can be done while you’re gone and in what circumstances you need to be consulted before moving forward.
• Send our regular email broadcasts
• Pay incoming invoices from approved vendors we’re expecting
• Answer general customer support questions
• Agree to send emails for an affiliate partner I haven’t approved
• Pay any contractor who hasn’t completed their work or submitted forms
• Answer specific questions about upcoming launch dates
Now, you might be looking at this short list and say: how will they KNOW a vendor is approved? Well, that’s a system you could write down before your vacation arrives. You’re not going to remember every single vendor instantly so add to it when you can.
#3 Actually unplug
You’ll never really know if you can take time off unless you do. Which means not checking email all day long, not calling the office “just to check in” and absolutely not popping into your social media for a “quick look.”
While those things might reduce your anxiety about how things are going at home they don’t actually allow a) your team to succeed or b) you to relax. Both are important.
If you’ll be gone for more than 5 days consider allowing yourself one – ONE – check-in call with a member of your team. Put it on the calendar and connect at that time. Your first and only question should be, “is there anything that’s come up that absolutely cannot wait until I get home?”
Trust your team to contact you if the building really does catch on fire, your bank accounts get hacked or an entire department quits for some reason.
(Hint: this is why it’s helpful to have those locations and travel details on a calendar.)
If you’re not actually going to take time off, relax, and unplug from your business then you’re setting the business up for failure.
There is a time, I hate to tell you, when you may not get the choice thanks to an illness, unplanned move, family emergency or even a natural disaster.
Prepare now and think of this upcoming time off a little like a fire/tornado/earthquake drill only way more fun and relaxing!