Excitement levels are rising at Virtually Does It HQ as my two weeks of proper holiday are getting closer! The level of my to-do list has also moved up a notch too with making sure that everything is as it should be before I really do switch off for two weeks.
So many entrepreneurs find it difficult to really leave their inboxes for any length of time, and if I sit and think about it, it is a bit scary. We worry about what might happen while we’re away, who may contact us, what will we miss out on, will our clients have everything they need?
Scary, yes. Necessary? YES!
The balance is often tipped in favour of our businesses and not our holidays. This is understandable to some extent, as solo business owners a lot is resting on our business success. It’s so easy to get swept up and be ‘always on’ when perhaps we don’t need to be.
It is so important to take time away from your computer, your phone, your tablet and your emails. To really unplug and recharge, give yourself some headspace. You matter in your business, you are your business, and without you it will suffer. Surely that’s more scary than the thought of taking a proper holiday?
So, how can you make it happen? Well, here are my essentials for planning proper time away, and making the most of it.
Unless you like to go on holiday at the very last minute (which for me really would be scary!), start planning for your time away about 2 months in advance of when you go. That sounds like a long time doesn’t it, it’s not really when you think about how quickly the weeks go by (can you believe it’s nearly the end of April?).
Make a Plan
By planning your work, commitments and communications that early on there shouldn’t be any last minute surprises. In theory!
Work for your clients will undoubtedly come first, but what else will your business need while you’re away? Will you need to schedule blogs or social media updates? Automate invoices? Plan everything you need to do and spread it over the weeks leading up to your holiday. You’re likely to achieve much more if you’re not trying to cram everything into the last week.
Make it happen
Write your plan down to help make it stick. Whether that’s your task or project management system, reminders in your calendar, note book, or even on the wall, make sure you’re putting your plan into your day to day schedule so you know what needs to be done when and can keep on track.
You’re much more likely to work through what needs to be done productively and actually get it all done if you write it down.
Let people know
You will obviously let your clients know, but who else would it be nice to tell too? You may be in touch with some prospective clients, or fellow business owners in your network about collaborations or support, don’t forget to let them know too.
And you’re off!
With your tasks ticked off, your plan complete, the last thing you should always do….put on your out of office auto-responder for your emails and switch off!
If you really don’t like the thought of leaving everything unattended while you’re away, how about asking a VA to keep an eye on things?
Don’t forget to plan for your time away too
I love to start planning what I’m going to do when I’m away as soon as I know where I’m going! What there is to do and see, where’s nice to eat and to collect general info about where I’m off to.
Gone are the days of the trusty ‘holiday folder’, I now use Evernote and can save most things in there which makes it really easy to access everything on the go as it syncs across all my devices. Hotel information, web pages of sites to see, any booking references, can all be kept in there. Upgrading from the freebie version also let’s you view your notes offline so you don’t need to worry about always being connected! You see, even Evernote has holiday mode!
So, when’s your next proper holiday going to be?