You need a vacation, like, yesterday. You’re stressed, frustrated, and feeling run down. Your body and mind are telling you that it’s time to take a break ASAP if there’s any hope of avoiding burnout. But do you fear that everything would fall apart if you took some time off from your business? Planning for time away can be intimidating! Whether it’s taking time away after a new baby, a big move, or a family vacation, keeping your business running while you’re away IS possible, with a little prior preparation. Business doesn’t always slow down when the temperatures rise, and you may feel torn between having summer fun and keeping your customers happy. You CAN take time off when you need it! How do you make sure everything and everyone is prepared? Try these tips!


1. Plan Ahead

Your employees probably already have their summer vacations scheduled. Take a tip from them and put some downtime for yourself on your calendar, too. Blocking off vacation days now will help you avoid scheduling any important client meetings or deadlines during those dates. If you can’t manage a week off at once, maybe take one long weekend each month. You’ll be surprised what it can do for your mental health.

Before taking any time off from your business, it is important to plan ahead as much as possible. This includes creating a plan for who will handle tasks while you are away, scheduling meetings well in advance, and ensuring all deadlines are met.

Just as important as notifying your team, notify your clients and customers well in advance. Make sure everyone schedules meetings and gets their business handled before you hit the road.


2. Automate Tasks and Systems

Think about everything that needs to get done. For each task, including your ordinary day-to-day responsibilities as well as emergency situations that might pop up periodically while you’re gone, decide whether to delegate or postpone your action. If you choose to delegate, designate one of your team members to take on the task in your absence. To postpone, deem the task “unimportant,” and know that you’ll handle it only once you’ve returned.

Utilizing automation tools can help streamline tasks and processes so that they can continue to run smoothly in your absence. This could include setting up automated emails, setting up SMS alerts for appointments or events, or using project management tools. These days, there’s so much technology available to keep your business running while you’re away, you can more or less build a self-running business.

Email and marketing automation tools can help you stay in contact with your potential and current clients while you’re away — and they can be a big help even when you’re not on vacation, too.

Marketing automation can increase sales productivity by 14.5% and decrease your marketing costs by 12.2%. Do you have active social media accounts? Social media management tools let you schedule social media posts ahead of time, so your profiles will remain active when you’re away. Try using Meta, a service provided by Facebook and Instagram that allows you to schedule your social media posts ahead of time! Out of sight, out of mind.

And don’t forget your online courses! Just because you’re gone doesn’t mean you need to bring everything to a screeching halt. Promoting online courses is a great way to keep your clients busy and educated while you’re gone so they can come with questions when you’re back in town.


3. Stay Connected

You have to realize – and be OK with the fact – that when you run your own business you really can’t ever take a proper and complete break. We know that the last thing you want to think about when you’re sipping pina coladas on the beach is your business, but there are still ways to stay connected with colleagues or clients while you’re away that will not ruin your time away.

Your team shouldn’t need to contact you every second of each day but establish a way for everyone to get on the same page. Get daily action plans and summaries from your team by simply checking in when you’re back at the hotel room. For business owners who can’t fully disconnect, there’s still a solution for having it both ways. Have your team share highlights once or twice a day so you can keep in touch with overall progress and contribute as needed. In most cases, just receiving these reports can put you at ease. In other cases, you might find areas where you can provide quick guidance to keep everything running smoothly. That way, you can rest assured that your business won’t fall apart while you’re away and your team knows you’re available too, but in a much more limited capacity.


4. Set Boundaries

It is essential to set boundaries regarding when you will be reachable while on vacation or taking time off from your business. If you wish to not be reached at all, communicate this clearly with your colleagues and employees ahead of time, and tell them who they can contact in case of emergency.

If you find that even while disconnecting, you can’t help but worry about your job, try to refocus your efforts so you only worry for a certain period of time each day. For example, you might designate 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. as your “worry time,” to check emails and think about what’s going on back in the office. But as soon as 1 p.m. hits, you have to pull yourself away from the screen and focus only on enjoying yourself.

Let’s face it: It’s not a vacation if you’re glued to your phone. If you’ve committed to checking in via e-mail just once per day, pick a time and stick to it. Simple routines will ease your anxieties while still giving you the break you need. Avoid the temptation to check in more frequently. Leave your phone behind in the hotel room, or delete the email app off of your personal device. If you’ve prepared your team well, they won’t expect an immediate response.

You deserve it, sister! It’s time to ditch that stress and burnout and hit the road. While your business won’t slow down just because you’re gone, your team is perfectly capable of keeping things afloat while you enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation. Stay present and engaged on your trip and you might find some inspiration or new insight that could help you be more successful upon returning to the office. Leave your phone behind and enjoy your time away from your desk, and you’ll notice a remarkable change in your stress levels.

Ready to level up your business? Check out our business coaching online courses!