Achieving the dream: 5 good habits to start prepare for a long holiday

What’s your reason for going into business?

For many, it’s the desire to manage your own schedule and not be tied into the 9-5 with your allotted 20 days holiday.

In reality though, it can take a while to reach this point in your business. When you do achieve this milestone though, the prospect of stepping away from the helm for over 10 days can be a bit daunting.

So, whether you have an extended trip planned and in the diary or it’s a goal that you’re still working towards, it’s never too early to start building good holiday habits to make switching off for as long as you need as easy as possible. Here’s 5 to get you started…


1. Start preparing people as early as possible for your absence.

Just because you have noted down your holiday in your diary doesn’t mean that your clients, or even the people in your business, will have seen it! Starting those conversations early and reminding people nearer the time of your absence, even if it’s just a day off, will help to build trust and set clear boundaries so that you are not disturbed.


2. Get in the habit of putting your out of office on.

No matter whether you’re taking advantage of a bank holiday weekend, spending a few days at a trade show or are just scheduling some breathing room into your month, don’t forget to put your out of office on. That way, people won’t feel like they’re being ignored and should take into account your back in the office date before following up. Including an alternative emergency contact such as another member of your team or your virtual assistant also creates an additional step for time critical issues to be raised so that nothing important is missed.


3. Set clear boundaries with your clients and stick to them.

Just for a minute, imagine that you have logged off for the day. You’ve just finished dinner and are trying to work out with your partner what the plan is for this evening when you hear your phone ping from the other room. Do you a) ignore it or b) check it and reply there and then? It might seem like there’s no harm in picking up that one email outside of your stated working hours, but if you do it regularly, your clients can come to expect it. Even when you’re on holiday. This tip is as important for the everyday running of your business as it is when you’re off on holiday.


4. Arrange support in advance.

For some businesses, like if you’re a sole trader or running a family business, taking an extended amount of time out of the business just doesn’t seem that feasible. This is where support from a VA or PA who really understands your business, processes and customers can prove invaluable. Having someone to reply to urgent enquiries, keep on top of emails and manage your diary will not only take the pressure off your shoulders, it will also mean that your customers feel supported and continue to receive the same level of care as they would with you in the office.


5. Have a back up plan.

Nobody likes to think about things going wrong on a project, but the reality is that it happens, usually at the most inopportune moments. Having clear guidance around what to do if something does occur whilst you’re away means that your team or clients feel confident in the process and who to contact. Creating guidelines to explain when to escalate an issue to you will also give you the confidence and peace of mind that things are running smoothly when you have not heard anything so you can continue to enjoy your break.

Preparing for an extended holiday as a busy professional requires thoughtful planning and effective communication. By adopting these five good habits you can enjoy an uninterrupted, well-deserved break knowing that the business is still ticking over in your absence.

Taking time off to recharge benefits both your personal well-being and your business. So, if you would like any help setting these systems up, get in touch with our team today.

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