When I was 16, I lived abroad in South America and learned my favorite business lesson by far: mandatory vacations. Every summer, my exchange sister went to Punta del Este with her family. They did this for 1-2 months every single year, taking time off of their jobs and businesses.
This wasn’t an isolated event either. Thousands of people internationally take extended vacations around the world. They don’t schedule video calls. They don’t check emails on the beach. They detach from their businesses and spend time with their families.
Before I started One Less Thing Mgmt, I vowed to follow this example.
How does a small business owner with clients and a team that depends on you detach? Here’s what I’ve found and what I do in my business:
1. Capture Your Systems
Record every system and process. Use loom to screen-share and walk through how each task is carried out so that your teammates can quickly learn how to complete your tasks while you’re away.
2. Work Ahead
Always work ahead. Set your deadlines at two weeks ahead. Consider batching work in weeks, rather than drawing projects out for days. Here at OLT, I always set deadlines 2 weeks in advance and do the same for clients.
3. Optimize Your Workflows
Use workflows in a project management tool like Asana. By breaking down the responsibilities within your organization into step-by-step tasks that are delegated out to team members and assigned a deadline, you’ll save yourself and your team unexpected surprises.
4. Block Off Your Vacation Dates
Block off your vacation in your calendar so you don’t have any meetings or calls to reschedule.
5. Inform Everyone
Add a notice to your email signature 1-2 weeks in advance that you will soon be taking a vacation.
6. Find Someone To Cover For You
Appoint someone on your team to handle any client emergencies while you’re away. Create an away message with clear information on how long you’ll be gone, who to contact for anything urgent, and an assurance that you’ll respond to clients’ messages promptly when you return.
7. Set Boundaries
Leave your laptop at home, turn notifications off on your phone, and make sure your team knows to expect you to completely unplug.
Alright, so tell me, when is your next vacation?
Is your team ready?
If they’re not and you’re uneasy about going, let’s set up a call so we can map out your vacation prep plan.