Most of us are building online businesses because we want the flexibility that comes with it. We know we can do our work anytime, anywhere. But how about those times when we don’t want to work at all, because we really want to be on a tried-and-true vacation?
Here are the 5 things I do before vacation time, and they help me be sure I can relax, enjoy my family, and make the most of my time off.
(By the way, if you are looking to build your business the momstyle way so you can actually take a real vacation, be sure to check out 10 Tips for Building Your Business the Momstyle Way – it’s free.)
#1 – Several weeks or months before vacation, block out the time
This might sound obvious, but you’ve got to block out the time. This means that I don’t plan any launches right before or after my vacation. It also means that I make sure that it won’t be necessary for me to deliver support, like 1-1 consulting or facilitating a live session.
There are times that my vacations seriously cramp my launch windows. I’ll find myself racing to get a new course or product out and a product launch started 2-3 months ahead of time, just to be sure the work doesn’t creep into my vacation. Other times, I make the hard decision well before vacation to defer ideas until after I get back.
#2 – 2-3 weeks before vacation, map out marketing communication
About 2-3 weeks before vacation, I map out my marketing communication plan. This gives me time to write the extra content and my virtual assistant time to review it and ask me any questions she might have about setting it up.
I don’t try to keep up with all of my normal marketing communications during vacation, but I do like some messages to go out to maintain the hard-earned awareness I’ve built for me and my brand.
#3 – 1 week before vacation, reconcile finances
The last thing you want to be worrying about on vacation is whether or not your business expenses are covered. If my time off happens over the 1st of the month, I either plan to complete my monthly reconciliation process while on vacation (see #5) or do it ahead of time.
Learn exactly how to complete this simple, financially-freeing process in the 6-Figure Cash Flow System.
#4 – 1 week before vacation, plan the work week after vacation
I’m a planner. I go into every week with a to do list. The week before vacation, I plan out the week I return to work. This might be 3 or 4 weeks in advance, but typically there are commitments I’ve made and action steps I know I want to take to reignite my marketing communications.
By doing this, I can make sure these action items aren’t lingering in the back of my mind, and focus on my family and having fun. I know my well-thought-out to do list is waiting for me when I get back.
As an aside, I’ll often leave a little extra space in this week. It’s not uncommon to come back from vacation with new ideas that you want to vet out or intentions to readjust your bigger picture plans. Your business will get the most out of your rest if you give yourself space to integrate these new ideas.
#5 – 1 week before vacation, map out the must-do tasks for during vacation
Finally, before vacation, I make a list of any items I absolutely must do during vacation. These are the tasks that can’t be deferred and that I haven’t delegated yet.
For example, last summer we took a 3 week vacation and I knew I needed a half hour every 3 business days to check in and answer any course participant emails. This year, I’ve eliminated and delegated nearly all of this activity, and so I’ll only be checking in for a smaller set of must-do items and, of course, to be sure there aren’t any emergencies that need my immediate attention.
I think it’s really important that we’re kind to ourselves about how flexible our businesses are. Most of us are in this work because we love it, and so checking in here and there isn’t a big inconvenience. As long as your vacation doesn’t become all about work, you are doing better than the vast majority of online business owners.
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