If you are a small business owner, the word “Vacation” may cause an odd stress reaction. Likely, this is either because you don’t remember the last time you took one, or because the thought of taking one causes a mild panic attack. But the reality is that vacations are good for you and your business. In addition to the well known health benefits of relaxation, you also recharge your creativity, making you even more productive when you return.
So, instead of throwing the vacation out the window, here are a few ideas to make it easier.
Don’t Think All or Nothing: It doesn’t have to be a cruise or a month on the Riviera to count as a vacation. Sometimes a long weekend can be just what you need to re-charge. Start small. Pick someplace close by that’s a favorite place you’ve always wanted more time to explore. Or try a “stay-cation” and do all the local tourist activities you’ve never had time to experience.
A Little Preparation Goes a Long way: If you’re gone for more than a couple days, look through your calendar to see what you would be working on during that time. Pay the bills, assign your regular tasks to specific employees, let your clients know you will be gone and who their contact person is, and don’t begin any new projects right before you leave.
To Call or Not to Call – That’s Really the Question: Decide before you leave if you will be in contact with your office, how much and when. Also clarify with your staff what constitutes an emergency. If the thought of completely unplugging stresses you out, set yourself a time limit, say, 30 minutes each day, for the most urgent business.
A Little Extra Wiggle Room: Give yourself an extra day at the end of your time off to re-group. You will have email and snail mail to catch up on, and the mental process of getting yourself “back in the game.” And there are bound to be personal items at home that you will need to handle. Even a half day can make it easier to slide back into your ergonomic desk chair.
Anticipation: Just the process of planning a vacation can be fun. Even if it’s only a short one, it focuses you on something outside of the day to day. When you return and realize that vacations can work, you have the anticipation of planning the next one.
So take a break! Caring for yourself should be a priority. After all, you are your business’s greatest asset.