Can’t get away from work?
Yes, you can… It’s all in the planning!
GINGER’S TOP TIPS
I know how hard it is… There is always that project to finish, that contract to draft – and always that one client, who you must meet or call, because they really need you. There will always be something stopping you! But, believe it or not, it will be okay to tell your client you are going away and that you can’t meet.
The key is to manage your client’s expectations by telling them in good time that you are going away, and if you are going to be available or not. After all, you are allowed to take holiday! Yes, even when you are self-employed. Where is the manual that says you can’t?!
I am actually writing this on board my flight, on the way to a week away. So, what better time for me to share my top tips to your stress-free getaway.
Firstly, I choose to be available to my clients, but only for at set times during my day. We tend to be quite active on holiday, so it’s convenient when we are on the golf course, and can’t take calls. But, you don’t have to be available, if you don’t want to be. You are your own boss!
Next, I always like to catch up on emails and work through a to-do list whilst on a flight. It’s a peaceful and refreshing time for me to empty my mind before landing in another country. It also means I can switch off knowing it’s all under control and I’ve sent all the messages I need to.
Recently, a colleague shared with me she felt so relieved having plucked up the courage to take a holiday. She was so worried about leaving her work, having not long ago set up her business. But, she came back realising she had needed the break, and feeling elated that nothing had gone wrong and that all was well.
Here’s how to take time off and give yourself a break…
- Block some dates in your diary – even if you don’t have a destination, or anything booked. It gives you some dates and a timeline to work towards.
- As soon as you have selected the dates, tell your clients you have this planned time away – and that you plan to either take time off completely, or that you will be available at certain times. Do not tell them you will always be available… I used to do so, and it doesn’t give you a break.
- Book the day before and the day after to work from home. Don’t book meetings or calls with clients – give yourself time to clear the decks.
- Do you have a buddy/colleague, who could take your calls? Or check on your emails for you? If not, put an out-of-office message on your and on you emails, giving the dates you will be away. A buddy could be someone who is a friend, peer, or even a parent, who could just take a message, or respond with a holding email for you. Though, this is not essential.
- Plan the last few days before you go away with a task list, and share the task lists with your clients. So, they know what is outstanding. This manages their expectations, and helps you to feel comfortable with what you are leaving behind.
Now Go, Rest, Recuperate and Enjoy the YOU Time!
Some light reading, some blue sky thinking, or a spot of brainstorming can be good to help you feel you have been doing something for your business. I love catching up on blogs, or even a spot of Facebook group posting (unless you automate these things), and don’t forget LinkedIn.
How can we help you?
If you’re planning your first trip away, or just need help getting your business head together, get in touch with me.
We can arrange a free 45-minute exploratory call to see how you can help yourself.
Find out more about me…
I love to work with entrepreneurs, Small Business owners, and family teams, who have developed their passion and realised they have the talent to create a successful business.