It’s July and the peak season for vacations. Many small business owners and professionals worry that their business will fall apart if they are not there to “run the shop”. For entrepreneurs and business leaders, lines are often blurred between professional time and personal time and it is hard to shut it off at night, on weekends or for vacations.
However, everyone needs downtime to succeed. Taking a vacation and having time away will allow you to be more productive, get the creative juices flowing, and come back energized. It’s also an opportunity to do some big planning, dreaming of the future of your business. Here’s what you need to do to be able to take time off and make that distinction between work and personal time.
- Plan out and schedule downtime on your calendar for the next 12 months. Anything is possible if you plan ahead and you stick to it. Knowing that you have a vacation scheduled will help you put everything in place to keep your business running in your absence.
- Put systems and procedures in place so that your business can run like a well-oiled machine without you. Having documented systems and procedures will not only help when you are not there, but will have an overall positive effect on your business.
- Educate your team. Let them know how you manage your calendar and your time. Get your employees or partners on board so that they are comfortable filling in for you and can take over in your absence.
- Craft your programs, services and offerings so they align with your time off. Introduce customers to your team and build your absence into your proposals. Educate your clients of your availability and set clear expectations.
- Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a completed to-do list. Don’t keep chasing the day when your to-do list is completed in order to take a vacation.
- Stay firm. There will always be a distraction or an exception that arises. Realize that your time off will be challenged. The biggest offender in not taking time off is you.
Remember, the more effort you make to take time off, the more productive, happier and successful you will be.