Are you heading off on holiday soon? How do you find actually leaving your business behind for a few days? Or do you still find it really difficult to switch off? A 2015 article in the Guardian got us thinking about this very subject and the huge juggle that holiday time can be for small business owners.
Is it possible for us to take proper time out to switch off and be present during a holiday? Can the holiday be without constant worry and the need to check on our social media or emails?
What do you think? Is taking a holiday something you just do? Or do you not feel able to take the time out? Does the thought of being away from your business cause you stress?
The importance of taking time to switch off.
As co-founders of We Are Tabono, it’s great that Anna and I have each other to steer the ship when either of us goes on holiday. But even so, there is a certain amount of planning and preparation that needs to happen. It’s so important to make sure that the other one isn’t swamped and overwhelmed.
As an organisation, and as individuals, we are extremely aware of how important looking after our wellbeing is. It’s something we teach on the We Are Tabono programme, encouraging people to remember to look after themselves first. With this in mind, we would encourage any entrepreneur to be factoring in time away from their businesses. It really does have so many positive benefits.
Whether we’re talking two weeks away or long weekends here and there, it’s essential to switch off from the daily grind of emails and alerts that demand our attention. Our brains get tired, our nervous system is on edge. Being away from all of this gives us time to rest and relax, to recharge our batteries. It also allows us to reconnect with our family and friends – something that shouldn’t be overlooked and always benefits from nurturing.
It is also clear that time away from our business gives us the opportunity to reflect and gain a fresh perspective. When we’re always so busy working on and in our businesses, we can become blinkered and unable to solve problems or innovate effectively. Many entrepreneurs will tell you they have some of their best insights and ideas when relaxing!
Tips for managing the holiday period.
This is essential in the weeks before you go away. Protect your time in the period running up to a holiday. Minimise meetings and use your time to work on projects that need finishing. Outstanding admin tasks such as invoicing and preparing presentations are key examples. And make sure you’re prepared for when you’re back too!
2. Social Media
Many of us rely fairly heavily on social media to grow our businesses. But there’s no need for you to be sitting on a beautiful beach (or even a rainy one!), racking your brains for ideas of posts for your business. Content planning and scheduling is absolutely key. So if this is new to you, check out a scheduling tool – we like ContentCal – and get planning ahead of time!
3. Get some help
If you don’t have the luxury of a team or a business partner, could you utilise a Virtual Assistant when you’re on holiday to handle the important bits? Or even a call service to divert your calls to so you don’t miss important leads? Having someone to step in to cover you is really helpful, so have a think about how this could work for your business.
Delegate to your team if you have one. Show them you’re happy to give them responsibility. Put some trust in them and reap the rewards as they rise to the challenge. This will have the added benefit of showing you that it’s easier than you think to get away. You can switch off and take breaks that you deserve and need. You may even find this makes your usual business routine easier as you discover just how much your team might enjoy being more involved. Then remove those tasks from your own to do list.
5. Set some boundaries
If you can’t have a complete switch off from your phone whilst away, at least set some boundaries to decide how much you will allow yourself to be engaged in anything work related. Perhaps you will check in once a day for 10 minutes purely to see if there is anything urgent to attend to. Or maybe you could make that every couple of days? Giving yourself free reign to look at your phone any time and having wifi on permanently could be a slippery slope to more and more work.
What are your top tips for preparing to go away and switch off from your business for a few days? We would love to know how you get time out whilst ensuring your business ticks along until you are back.