Work Life Balance

6 Tips For a Work-Free Vacation

Summer is here — which means if you aren’t already on vacation then you may have on coming-up soon. While the whole point of a vacation is to get away and recharge most of us fail to do so. It’s even been found by Glassdoor that 2 in 3 Americans work while on vacation.

As a mom and small business owner I realize that you probably can’t completely unplug, but here 5 tips you can use so that you can actually enjoy your time away and return feeling rejuvenated.

1. Write a prioritized list.

These are your most important tasks that need to be finished before you leave for vacation. Writing them down will help you remember to cross them off your to-do-list. But to prevent getting overwhelmed only focus on what needs to get done right now.

I know that your kids are excited about soccer this fall, but if signups don’t start until after you get home, then that’s not a priority. Get them signed up and purchase their gear once you get home.

2. Delegate.

I realized a long time ago that while I didn’t mind doing the accounting and bookkeeping for my business, I just didn’t have the time. It made more sense to hire someone to do that for me — which also made me more productive.

You can use that same mentality before vacation. If there are tasks that you don’t have time for, or aren’t an expert in, the hand them off to someone else. It could be another family member, co-worker, or a freelancer you just hired.

Also, if put someone that you trust in-charge while you’re away. This can put your mind at ease because they’ll be putting out any possible fires while you’re gone.

3. Put email and other notifications on mute.

In a perfect world you could leave your phone in your room. But you’ll probably need it for travel apps, reviews, and directions. You’ll also want your phone nearby in case there’s a family emergency.

The solution to this is to mute emails and any other work-related messages. This way you won’t be tempted to check your phone every 5-minutes. However, set up out-of-office autoresponders so that your clients and co-workers know that you’re out of town and aren’t ignoring them.

4. Minimize your “other” work.

I saw this in an editorial at Fairygodboss and it’s spot-on;

“Your job responsibilities are not the only kind of work that you should try to minimize on vacation. For too many women, care-taking responsibilities surge to the fore-front on vacation. Just ask any new-ish mother and she will tell you that childcare and family responsibilities on vacation can be so exhausting that it’s more restful to actually return to work.

While sometimes there may be little we can do about this, making a plan to enlist babysitters on vacation, family members or partners for their support in your taking time off is something many corporate, Type-A types neglect to do.”

This summer, for example, I’ve had to take two work trips. On my first trip I brought my nanny and the second my brother is coming along. This way I can do my work during the day while knowing my kids are safe. But after work it’s great having those extra hands so that I can catch my breath.

5. Just say “no.”

Saying “no” is hard. But it’s a hard that us moms are infamous for!

In this case I mean saying “no” to any new requests. If I have a new client, and it’s not an emergency, I’ll schedule them an appointment when I return or refer them to someone else in the office. If I have too many clients to see before I leave I won’t be able to cross-off all my priorities.

So don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes you have to put your foot down.

6. Be prepared.

When you return you’re going to be playing catch-up. Don’t worry about that while on vacation. Instead, have a plan when you return so that you can ease back into work mode. Don’t just dive back into your most important tasks. Take the first day to check your emails and phone calls, find out what you missed while away, and get yourself organized.

Not only will this help you get back into the zone, it also eliminates that worry of all the important work you have to do when you return home.

Do you have any tips on how to have a work-free vacation? Let us know in the comments below.

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