You own your business - it's your baby. Your lifeblood. Your sole existence. You are your business. So, the temptation to work 9, 10, 12, 16 hours a day might be running through your veins.
To heck with weekends, taking time off, vacations, and holidays. Your mission in life is to run your business, right?
Right. Which is exactly why going away for a week or two is a necessity.
It is a psychological fact that humans are not born to chug-chug-chug along the line of productivity for prolonged lengths of time.
In business, love, and life, balance is key to a sense of fulfillment. Without fulfillment, you might as well be a shtick working the average 9-5 or 8-4 lackey. You didn't get start your own business (or become the manager of one) by being an average lackey, did you?
When you feel ready to become a new human and step out of suits, revamping the way you make money and grab the bull by the horns, take a look at these management tips to make the most of your off time while your team continues making you money.
Forget the tech your team will be using to stay in touch. For now. Forget drafting a schedule of when and how to contact you - for now.
At the moment, the most important obstacle to conquer right now is this: who will help manage your business while you're away?
Select someone - somebody you can trust who is reliable, to stand in for you. Someone you know who can handle the responsibility, as they've proven to you (without them knowing?) they understand your business inside and out.
Someone who knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how to handle people with excellence. We never know what's going to happen while you're out - say three crises a day occurs. Can your new "assistant"/manager deal with the stress, and professionally tackle any possible thing that pops up?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself and anyone you have in mind. Before you delegate tasks and activities, be sure to single out the tasks that you, and you alone do and are capable of doing.
Go after the ones you know for sure only you can do, and take that work with you. Leave everything else to your highly-trained workers.
#2. Make Duties Clear
Do you have an office or storefront?
Leave clear-as-glass instructions. Please, do not underestimate simplicity in times like this. Leave exact details about where you can be contacted, when, and how (phone? Email? Skype?), and only if there is an issue out of their comfort zone.
Widening their comfort zone is another matter. Train your staff questions, up to a month in advance if necessary, about how they would handle a potential situation if they were in charge.
Or, to take it one step further... The next time an actual issue, question, or problem does come up... Call in the people you're thinking of making the head honchos while you're away.
Give them the issues to handle, by themselves, right in front of your eyes. Assess their answers. Are they leadership material while you're clocking well-deserved resting hours?
#3. Optimize Your Workload
There's nothing more dreadful than trying to meet deadlines while you're on vacation - or coming back to them.
Schedule your workload so that every deadline is annihilated the week before you leave. Then, schedule your load that you won't have any for at least a week after your return.
If possible, assign tasks to trusted workers and employees. Don't let tasks drag on and on until departure date. By doing this, you're preparing for any unforeseeable delays that can turn your away time into a freakish nightmare. Not good. Not good at all.
Keep your workers in the loop! There's a host of internet collaboration tools (like Trello, Jira, and Asana) that successfully let people work together, in real time.
Handle issues as they arise. Deal with matters before they become a problem. Assign tasks as you see fit, etc.
All of these within the boundaries you've set for yourself. You're on vacation - once you discuss what you need, only when you need to, it's time to step away.
Being able to troubleshoot in real time, using these tools, is more advantageous for managers who are privy to travel a lot. It also allows business owners to see that things can run smoothly (if you've done your due diligence) without you.
#5. Get Out Of Town
They say, when you come back from vacation you see your world with new eyes. The keyword here is "when you come back," implying you've gone somewhere new. Somewhere that rejuvenates your spirit and makes you think, "dang good to be alive".
When's the last time you woke up from a deep slumber, and the first thing you did was smile?
Every worry of paying bills is swiped from your mind. The daily, chaotic drama of humanity has taken a back seat to your luxury. Your peace. That freedom from labour and lifetime dedication - for now. Just for now.
Fiji is a popular hot spot for vacations, with temps in the constant 80s F year-round. As for when to visit, Travel UsNews says whenever you have free time to.
Well... You have free time now, don't you?
It's a savvy move to learn the language of any foreign place you visit, so if you do decide to make Fiji your vacation spot, it helps to learn the basics of Fijian so you don't end up like those stereotypical American tourists who, at a five star cuisine restaurant, order French fries.
Can you tell I want to go to Fiji this year?
#6. Plan Ahead (Way Ahead)
Drafting a schedule is key here, above everything. Schedule far enough in advance (I've recommended up to a month in advance - and I'm restating it here to bring the point home) so that your staff is thoroughly trained to prevent bottlenecks while you're gone...
... and doesn't have to rely on you. So that when you get back, your key members can debrief you on what's happened so far, and key you in on progress to let you know how things stand.
Doing this (setting things straight right off the bat) gives everyone a chance to "know their role," so to speak.
This prevents hot-heads from trying to co-manage the office in your absence. Imagine coming back to your business to find someone else who thinks they're running it.
Which is dangerous especially when ego comes into play.
#7. Minimize Work Time
Don't look to the online collaboration tools as an excuse to keep in touch each and every hour. It's easier than ever to keep in touch and stay updated.
You know those schmoes who are on their Bluetooth earphones, blabbering away about their 401(k), or gnawing their cuticles to bare bone in anxiety?
It's not a happy sight - for anyone.
We're talking about more than mere time or focus management - we're talking about old fashioned will power and determination.
Enjoy yourself! Remember how hard you've laboured to be here? Remember how often you've sacrificed way too much, to be here? Indulge yourself in these rewards.
Taking time away from your small business can seem scary at first, but it's important for your physical and mental health--and the health of your business.
With a bit of advance planning and good communication, you'll find that enjoying a relaxing vacation is easier than you ever imagined.