I could have written a blog about getting away from work worry-free. I could have started with; “Here’s 4 ways to pre-prepare so you don’t have to worry while you’re on vacation”. But that right there, would have been a lie. When you run a company, there’s NO getting away. Here’s the thing: I think about work all the time. I have a hard time ‘being present’. That person who likes to keep tabs on all things company related at all times, that’s me—guilty as charged. As I write this, I have a trip booked for Vegas and am leaving in 3 days. I’ve gone away on vacations but am fully able to admit that I have not fully unplugged in over 3 years. I am promising to anyone reading this that while I’m away, I am unplugging – partially anyhow. Knowing that this was coming up, that I have the right team in place to handle anything and everything and having a plan in place allows me the freedom to enjoy my trip while still being aware of what’s happening and contributing all the while! Here’s a list of the 4 key ways to unplug partially without feeling any guilt:
- It may sound obvious but when you setup your Vacation Alert, ensure to make someone your “in case of emergency” person. Let someone from your company know that they are the designated ‘go to’. If the matter is urgent, they will connect with that individual. If it’s not urgent, they will connect with you upon your return! Here’s what my vacation alert looks like: “Hello, thanks for your email! I am currently away on vacation and will have limited access to my email from October 7 to October 11, 2015. If your matter is urgent, please connect with _____________________ at __________________ or via email at _____________________________. Have a great day!”
- Carry business cards with you, no matter where you go. This doesn’t mean talk about work the entire time you’re on vacation. It means that you never know who might be standing next to you in line while waiting for a show, sitting next to you at the Black Jack table or on the chopper on your way to see the Grand Canyon. The point is, anyone could be someone that could benefit from or knows someone else who could benefit from your product or services.
- Agree to check your email twice per day. Personally, I’ve stated that I would check my email in the morning and before dinner. In both instances, anything I can handle in 2 minutes gets addressed. Any emergencies are sent to my buddy (as stated above) and anything that can be dealt with later will get addressed upon my return. It’s a nice way for your company to know that anything important won’t slip through the cracks while ensuring that your vacation isn’t bogged down by work-oriented tasks.
- Emailing your key customers/accounts/clients in advance is another great way to ensure that things aren’t missed. Let these people know that you have someone that you trust—someone who is extremely reliable and capable—who will be at the helm while you are away. This means that they will likely wait until your anticipated return before communicating with you. All the while, you’ve provided them with a security blanket should a real emergency break out!
Sometimes, all you need is a plan. My hope is that with the above put in place, I will enjoy Vegas and my company will know that I’m still here, doing my thing while trusting that they’re back at the office, doing theirs.