There is something that sounds just a little bit out of place about setting rules for vacation. A vacation is supposed to be a let-your-hair-down-consume-drinks-with-little-paper-umbrellas kind of time. Right? So, what’s with the rules? The “rules,” for a change, are not to restrict but rather to enhance your vacation enjoyment.
We’ve become a hi-tech culture. We have IPads, smart phones and electronic tablets for instant communication and a GPS to get us where we’re going. Heck, our briefcases look more like that of Inspector Gadget’s than a professional’s these days. Entrepreneurs work hard, sometimes 60 or 70 hours a week, maybe more. And, when we’re not working, we often have to ‘work’ at not thinking about ‘work’!
That’s why when vacation does come around, it’s important to be congruent with what you are doing. When working, we should work hard and invest all we have. But, when it’s time to sharpen the saw and rest, it’s just as important to be focused there too. Otherwise, you accomplish little beyond worry and stress―NOT the goals of any vacation. I ever heard of.
Here are some rules to keep close by when you are vacationing to be sure the time you enjoyed away from your business is time well-spent and time that accomplishes what vacations are meant to accomplish―a sabbatical from the hard grind.
- Set the auto-responder for your email – Be sure to let those contacting you know that you are NOT going to be checking your email; and provide a contact name, email and number for them to reach while you are gone.
- Assign the role of emergency contact to someone you trust who is also a good problem solver. You must have someone who can think quickly, has good common sense and who won’t call you unless an unmanageable situation exists.
- Tell your emergency contact and any other vital staff that you WILL respond to a text message, but that it should ONLY be in the event of an emergency (and asking for a birthday off next month does not apply).
- Do NOT review your email for six days – The discipline of this alone will do you good. Avoid temptation to take a peek and be sure to recharge your own batteries with time spent the way you USED to before you had your own business. It’s a vacation for goodness sake!
- Don’t forget to prepare for your time away by getting big rocks out of your way before you leave. When you go away with significant pending issues, following these rules becomes more of a challenge. Do what you can to sufficiently prepare for ahead of time.