Summer is here, and it’s time for that one week getaway that you’ve been planning for months. Destination these holidays: the coast, where else? You’ve packed your sunscreen and your beach towel. Oh, and don’t your camera. Maybe you should bring your phone. And might as well bring your laptop too…
Come your holiday, and it’s anything but relaxing. Your “I just need half an hour to check my e-mail, honey” turned into logging into your email every half hour. Your mobile keeps ringing because you told your customers and staff that they could reach you in an emergency (and apparently, everything is an emergency). And your plans to take part in fun activities have deteriorated faster than your family’s patience.
Give me a break, you say, no pun intended. It’s enough that you’re even on holiday, isn’t it?
Well, no. Not really. Your family certainly doesn’t think so. And deep down, that part of you that was expecting to feel rested and rejuvenated, but isn’t, doesn’t think so either.
For the amount of holiday you actually got out of your holiday, you might as well have just stayed at the office. Not that we’re recommending that. But it’s clear that juggling work and a holiday is impossible. It’s either one or the other; you can’t do both.
If you’re leaning toward the work option, think again. The truth is that you work far too hard for it to be healthy to go without a holiday. Australians work the longest hours in the Western world, working 6 hours longer per week than the standard working week of 38 hours. And even worse – one fifth of business owners work over 51 hours a week. Overworking is eventually going to take its toll on you, and your business will actually suffer for it.
Sure, it’s not easy taking time off. Yes, you could miss out on business, and yes, your staff might find it hard without you. But if you’re prepared, and you follow these simple steps, you will be able to give yourself a guilt-free holiday this Christmas:
PREPARE YOUR CLIENTS
Notify your clients of your plans well in advance so that they can plan around it. Create back up plans for them just in case, and leave an out-of-office message on your phone so that nobody thinks you’re avoiding them.
TRUST YOUR STAFF
If you’ve decided to keep your business running while you’re away, leaving your business in the hands of a trusted, prepared and capable manager or team is the best way to give yourself peace of mind. Preparing them as best you can will also help you feel less stressed while away.
Leave your laptop at home and switch off your mobile. This is a must! Your laptop and mobile will merely tempt you away from what you’re supposed to be doing – relaxing. However, if you absolutely HAVE to bring your phone and laptop because you know you’ll stress more without them, then give yourself a strict rule to only check your inbox once a day.
PLAN FUN ACTIVITIES
These are a great way to help you de-stress and get your mind off work. Exercise and physical activities help to build up your energy, and spending time with your family will also help you feel refreshed.
TAKE AT LEAST 2 WEEKS
You may think that a week is more than sufficient, but it will take you a few days to actually unwind, and you don’t want to leave your holiday just as you’re starting to enjoy it, do you?
The most important thing to remember is not to feel guilty about getting away. After all, some of your best ideas happen organically – that is, when you’re not trying to think about them. A holiday will help you de-clutter your brain and will allow you to gain perspective. So from the team here at Business Companion, have a safe, happy and relaxing Christmas!