‘Tis the season for “summer hours”, beach-filled getaways, and sunny days too perfect for focusing on any kind of to-do list. Unless you run a business that is.
Entrepreneurs tend to develop a horrible habit of working nonstop. They convince themselves that hours are supposed to be long and the breaks practically nonexistent. Take an eye off operations for one moment—let alone many—and the entire ship is sure to steer off course.
There’s plenty of advice out there to back up the fact that taking a vacation is good for you and your ability to be a better entrepreneur. But it’s easier said than done when you don’t know how to step away from the day-to-day and trust that the world will keep on turning.
Trust us though, when we say that it’s possible to take a deep breath and commit to the idea of treating yourself to time off. Here’s how to take a vacation as an entrepreneur and run a business.
Give Clients Ample Notice
Setting boundaries with your clients is a healthy habit to get into whether you’re on vacation or in the saddle. Before you take time off, however, it’s a good idea to communicate your plans with those you do business with early and often.
A month or so ahead of time, send out emails to inform clients of the days you’ll be out of the office. Layout how you plan to handle timely needs and provide a means of contact in the event of an emergency. Follow up with reminders leading up to your departure date and set up “Out of Office” notifications as needed.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
As your business grows, so does the need to create systems and outsource items you no longer have time for. It’s hard to expand efforts into planning for the future—and taking a break—when you’re so heavily engrained in the day-to-day.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to start offloading some of the smaller tasks on your plate. Doing so also makes it easier to fit in time for much needed rest and relaxation.
Automation is the name of the game. And for small business owners, there’s no shortage of tools on the market for automating daily tasks.
Start by making a list of responsibilities you’d classify as “busy work.” Then automate what you can to account for more free time and peace of mind when trying to disconnect.
Put in Extra Hours Ahead of Time
If there are tasks you don’t feel comfortable offloading to an assistant or technology, then do what you do best. Do them yourself.
You already put in extra hours for the sake of your clients—why not do so for yourself as well? Plan ahead and prioritize in the weeks leading up to your vacation for knocking out what you can ahead of time. It may not be fun in the moment, but it’ll certainly be worth it.