I am in the midst of packing my suitcase to travel down to the French Alps snowboarding for the weekend, and I am faced with the decision whether or not to take my laptop with me to squeeze in some work over the short break.
Now that might sound crazy to some to of you, but as someone who works abroad, travelling and working is quite often the norm and not an unusual decision for me to make. However this time around I have decided that this will be a dedicated ‘holiday’ long weekend where I switch off from work and completely enjoy the moment with friends in a spectacular place.
It becomes very easy to continually work while on holidays, on weekends, and basically all the time, especially if you are a solopreneur, as more time working generally equals a higher income. We also tend to give clients the impression we are available 24/7, (I know I have been guilty of this at times), making it harder to step away, and when work is intertwined into travels it makes it difficult to separate the two.
It is important to take time out from your business to recharge and refocus. You find that you will enjoy work more and also get more done which goes against the thinking that time off will lose you income. It is also important for your health and wellbeing as well as your relationships with family and friends.
With a little prep before you go, you can completely switch off, helping to make your holiday be more stress free, because going away and then stressing the whole time won’t give the benefits you are after.
- A week or two out (depending on how long you are away for), let clients know you will be going away and the date they need to get your sign-offs, deliverables or changes to you by to have complete before you go.
- Invoice any outstanding work so you can have money coming in while you are away. This will also help with the lag between when you come back and have new projects to invoice.
- Inform clients of your break and let them know that you will be offline and not contactable until your return.
- Set an email auto-responder stating the days you are away and your contact circumstances. Also who to contact if any thing is urgent, perhaps a virtual assistant, sub-contractor or colleague.
- Board the plane, train or car and watch the stress melt away with every sip of your cocktail.
So as you can see it is important to schedule in holiday travel time as well as working travel time so that you can be fully present in your life and be as beneficial to your business as possible.
So set the auto-responder and take some well earned time off.
Take it easy,