If you’re self-employed or in a family business it’s hard to feel comfortable taking off days or a vacation. As we head towards the holidays and a new year, here is a list of ways to start to discuss the possibility. Give yourself permission to take days off and know the business will run fine without you.
- Make sure that for your work, you have repeatable, solid business systems and processes so that others can handle necessary work while you are out. Not sure what those are? Email me for my business systems audit.
- What is the minimum level of work that must happen while you are out? Don’t assume “everything.” Go for the bare minimum so it is easier to delegate and educate someone else if needed.
- Take off the same days as your spouse’s corporate holiday schedule. Or choose some portion of them and keep track each year. Make a plan for the day so you are sure you make good use of the time so you’ll do it again!
- Start looking for good temp support. Try out the person for a project or two, before you decide when your vacation will be.
- Leave your cell phone with one person whose judgment you trust about what is a true emergency requiring your decision. Or, provide a list of guidelines for definitely when to call you. And not.
- Start small: lunch away from the office. A weekend away with cell phones on. A weekend away with only one person having the capability to reach you. And go on from there.
- Start grooming a “second in command” who can handle things while you are out.
- Go away on your own to see what it feels like. Remind yourself of how restored your mind, body and spirit feel.Ocean vacation (c) Sue West
- And then, instead of waiting for a vacation or day off, also work into regular daily routines those restorative activities.
- Figure out what your monthly financial minimum is and focus on making up some of that before vacation to ease your mind. Many people keep working without having a goal in mind.
- Hire to replace yourself. Experiment with that person while you go away for a weekend. Read my blog about delegation or coach with me if you don’t know how to delegate.
- Book days out a year ahead AND add a monthly “countdown” calendar reminder so you’ll be planning ahead for how work gets handled while you are out.
- Give yourself x # of vacation days just as you would at a corporation and keep track. Find an accountability partner or coach.
- Plan one day out with someone else, someone not at the office.
- Set your voicemail, auto reply email a week ahead to give people a warning. It cuts down on last minute requests. People do figure it out without you.
- Make your “I can’t leave on vacation unless these tasks are done” list. Focus on that your last two weeks. If you can do more, great. If not, you’ll have it for when you come back. Remember that during your last few days, people will suddenly remember you’ll be out, so you need to plan your time loosely those last few days.
Enjoy your vacation !
If you need brainstorming, advice, or coaching, because it’s too crazy busy to figure this out on your own, contact me. No charge introductory call. 603.554.1948 or Sue@CoachSueWest.com
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