[This guest post is by blogger and writer Heather Legg.]
Any small business owner knows it’s hard to get away for a vacation. And when you do, you think about work. With all the joys and benefits of owning your own business, it is difficult to completely remove yourself for a few days. Those new to owning their own business are probably learning this, too.
However, you don’t need to sacrifice a vacation—they are too important in life—if you’re a business owner. It’s possible to sneak a little work in while on vacation; it may actually keep your stress level down!
Decide what aspects of work need to take priority, and focus on those things during the vacation. Some things can probably be left alone while you are gone, or you can let your assistant take them over. If you plan ahead and have your material at the ready, you can tend to those few things and still enjoy your vacation.
Schedule Work Time
Pick a specific time to work. Step away from the vacation and your friends and/or family and work. A little bit of focused time will do you more good than scattered bits of work throughout the day.
Find a Work Spot
Most hotels, whether you are at a larger chain such as a Holiday Inn or an independent establishment like the Lotus Honolulu, will have free Wi-Fi and nice areas in which to work, whether business areas or just a quiet spot with a beautiful view. You’re not alone in having to work on vacation, and hotels often provide for this. Take advantage of it and work away. Your time will be well-spent, distraction-free, and you’ll feel ready to enjoy the fun when you finish.
Warn Your Group
Let your vacation group know that you’ll be working a little. They can schedule accordingly and allow you the time you need. Maybe they can go do something you have no interest in while you get caught up on work, or they’ll wait for you before taking that really fun excursion. That’s why it’s also important to have scheduled work time.
This can be tricky if you’re a sole proprietor—but if you have an assistant or partner, let him handle some things while you’re gone. He can still contact you if needed, but can be the first response if a client needs something easy.
Just like you’ll be prepared with your work material, make sure you’re prepared with your technology. Bring power supplies, chargers, and any necessary converters.
Let Clients Know in Advance
Everyone takes time off; let your clients know that you are going to. You can send out an email a week or so in advance, which will give you time to tend to anything beforehand. If they know you are on vacation, they may be less likely to contact you with minor issues. You can also let them know you’ll be checking phone/email, but not as regularly, so they won’t panic if it takes you longer to get back to them.
Set Up Out of Office Email and Voicemail
Set up your email and voicemail to let anyone know you are away from work. Just as you let clients know ahead of time, this is a reminder. And when you do respond, your clients will feel that you are giving them that extra attention.
A Quick Reply Is Better Than No Reply
Even if you can’t handle something or solve a problem while on vacation, you can send a quick message that you got the email and will handle it when you return. Your client will appreciate a response and may realize whatever it is can wait.
Before and After
Before you leave for vacation, do some clean-up, both virtually and physically. Clean your desk, delete old emails, and file the new ones. Know what you are coming back to.
When you return, schedule a day to get back in the groove—tend to things that you didn’t do over vacation. Try not to schedule business trips or big meetings for the first day you’re back at work. That way, you won’t stress about it while on vacation. The good thing about sneaking in that work while on vacation is that you won’t be overwhelmed when your holiday is over and work is back on.
It is possible (and maybe very smart) to work a little while on vacation, especially when you own the business. You’ll be glad you did—but don’t forget to have fun, too! It will be over before you know it, and then you’ll have plenty of time to work!
About the Author:
Heather Legg is a blogger who writes about small businesses, family travel, and staying focused on a positive outlook in life.