Our Scottish schools are already on their Summer holidays and the Englandshire schools have just broken up, so naturally thoughts turn to packing up cars and jetting away on planes for most people.
I was fortunate to have some super holidays when I was younger, and I have some very happy memories. There were however times when my dad was racing around to get hold of a fax machine or spending n amount of time on the phone sorting out some crisis. Those types of memories have stuck with me too.
I've seen several people this week say; well I'll take the laptop in case. In these modern times it's all too easy to be in contact and always on in the world of work. That week or two weeks away is precious to rejuvenate you and for you to spend some time with your loved ones or spend time doing something you love. We need a proper break however hard it may be to do no matter whether we work with some big corporate company, in a small business or as a flying solo freelancer.
So, here's some tips.
1. Arrange Cover
Get someone in to manage your emails or manage your team or whatever needs doing. With someone like myself it can be as little or as much cover as you want.
If you're hiring a VA, shop around and find someone who understands your business. Most of us myself included provide a free half an hour to discuss your business needs. If it's a last-minute decision, then preparation is still important. Make sure that the team member or VA covering for you has all the information they need to cover you. Check that they have the necessary passwords (share them via the likes of LastPass or Dashlane) Make sure they're aware of your processes and policies if you have them.
Let them know exactly what it is you want done. Trello, Click Up and Asana are all great tools for setting up a board/to do list for your holiday cover where you can brain dump everything in there, so they know where to find it. Let them know where their responsibilities begin and end. With some clients I simply cover emails when they're on their holidays, with my retainer clients, I am their Office or Operations Manager and I have the authority to make decisions on their behalf in their absence. Don't let everyone and anyone know how to contact you. In your out of office refer to your nominated cover person and that's it, let them field the enquiries. The only person that should be contacting you whilst you're away in the event of an emergency is that point of cover.
3. Leave the laptop at home.
The harder it is to contact you the more people will think about whether it's really necessary? They're less likely to email with the "I just want to double check something" When I go away, I have my phone. Clients have to text or phone and they respect that it's my time and whilst I'm happy to take calls/texts they know it needs to be something urgent.
Most importantly enjoy your time away and be in the moment knowing your business is in safe hands. You'll come back refreshed and full of ideas having had a complete break, everyone will thank you for it, even your clients!