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As a small business owner, taking a vacation may seem completely impossible. There’s always more work to get done or another goal to reach. You may worry about how things will run without you or what will happen if an emergency arises. But the truth is that every entrepreneur needs to take a vacation in order to avoid burnout and stress. And with proper planning, you can enjoy some much-needed time off to relax and recharge. Here are a few tips for how to prepare and make time for a vacation so that you can make the most of your time away:
Go During an Offseason or When Your Workload is Lighter
While it may seem attractive to take a vacation during the summertime, if that’s when your business is busiest, you may want to contemplate going at a different time of year. It’s always easier to get away during your company’s offseason and when your workload is lightest. You’ll have less worries and be able to relax easier if business is slower while you’re away.
Delegate Your Responsibilities to Others
Before you leave, delegate your responsibilities to your staff members. Make sure you leave very clear and detailed instructions so there’s no question of who should be doing what task or how it needs to get done. If you’re a solopreneur, consider hiring virtual assistants or independent contractors who can pick up the slack while you’re away.
Plan Your Vacation Far in Advance
Planning your vacation far in advance allows you time to get things in order and to prepare as needed. You may have to put in some additional hours in the weeks leading up to your departure, but being able to finish up outstanding projects and tie up loose ends will give you peace of mind while your away.
Disconnect as Much as Possible
If you’re able to shut off your phone, leave your laptop at home, and put on your out-of-office, you’ll get the full benefit of your time off. But, if it isn’t feasible to completely disconnect, or if the thought of it makes you unable to truly relax, then consider scheduling a small part of your days for check-ins. While on vacation, you could allot 1-2 hours in the early morning before you start your day to check emails, return phone calls, or do whatever business tasks are on your mind. Then, shut everything down and enjoy the rest of the day, stress-free.
Let Your Clients Know
Inform your clients that you’ll be away and keep the vacation days blocked off in your calendar, so no business activities are scheduled during that time. Let them know who to reach out to if they need immediate assistance.
Do a Dry Run
If the idea of taking time off and leaving your responsibilities to others gives you anxiety, then try doing a dry run before your vacation. Once you’ve prepared your team and planned accordingly, test out the waters by taking an afternoon off and see how things run without you. If any issues arise that you hadn’t though of, you can put a plan in place now to address those issues before you embark on your vacation.
Create an Emergency Plan
You’ll be able to rest easier knowing that you have a plan in place in case of emergency. Create a list of important phone numbers for your team and instruct them what to do in various scenarios. Let your team know which types of situations warrant a call to you and which don’t.
The Bottom Line
Taking a vacation and getting some time away from the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship is important for your mental health. Having a break from work will not only leave you with renewed energy and recharged batteries, but it will give you a fresh perspective and help you to be a better leader.
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