As a business owner, do you remember the last time you went on vacation? If not, have you’ve always wanted to but fear that something might go wrong if you leave your business? And if you do remember, how often do you take your work with you while you’re away? For many owners, it can be tough leaving their business behind even while they’re on “vacation”. According to a survey conducted by Xerox, about 85% of small business owners admitted to working while on vacation. What’s more, many owners lack faith in their employee’s capabilities in running their business in their absence.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that many employers refuse to take even a week off from their business. But then again, business owners deal with a lot of unique challenges that they can’t always ignore after 5 pm. It’s no secret that running a business is one of the toughest jobs out there. Between the long hours and heavy workload, sometimes you can’t control your schedule even if you’re calling all the shots.

As an owner, there is no questioning that your time is valuable which is why it’s important that you spend it wisely. This means spending some time away from your business to take care of yourself. Not taking a vacation can not only impact your business but your health as well. Life’s too short for you to be focused on your business everyday so here are some tips you can use to make some changes.

Make Preparations

Before you get ready to make any travel plans, make sure that your business is ready too. This requires that you prioritize your most important tasks and complete them ahead of time. Start working on projects with the greatest importance that have immediate deadlines. This will mean longer workdays but it beats worrying about these things later on. If you can, delay other projects that your staff can’t handle that could wait until you return.  Let your customers/clients know in advance when you’ll be gone and who would take your place on certain jobs. This will lower your chances of being disturbed by last-minute requests while you’re relaxing. Prepare a list of important names and contact information for yourself and employees. It helps to have a list on hand of people you can reach in an emergency. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, you can find more tips here.

Train Your Team

A well-trained work staff is always prepared to take control of things even when you’re not around. To get your team ready, hold staff meetings months prior to the date that you’ll be leaving. During these meetings, you’ll be delegating different tasks that each worker must handle in your absence. This will be the perfect time to start teaching your employees new skills that would help them assume their new responsibilities. This way, if you’re ever away for other reasons, your staff will already know what to do. It also helps to prepare your staff on how to handle emergencies. This could either be knowing what to do when your computers are down or who to call in maintenance emergencies. Let your employees know under which circumstance is it appropriate for them to call you. Doing so creates boundaries that would help make it easier for you to relax.

Have A Right Hand In Command

In many organizations, there is usually a second person that takes charge when the managing head is not available. If you haven’t already, you should delegate a trusted employee to manage some of your work and your other employees. Schedule a time to train your new managing employee on what they’re supposed to do every day and in emergencies. After that, you can hold exercises where you pretend that you’re away so that your managing employee can take charge. After a day or week, both of you could meet to discuss ideas or improvements that could be made. If you like, you can offer to make this a permanent position through a promotion. That way you can reduce your workload so that you’ll have time to do other things. Make sure you always have someone capable of taking the reigns when the time comes.

Self-Management

Self-management is an essential skill that all employers must have to successfully run their business. Without self-management skills, employers will struggle to get things done on time which can bring unwanted stress. It can also interfere with your vacation plans since you’ll be too focused on business instead of enjoying yourself. To avoid this, manage your time so that you can check up on your business every once in a while. Limit yourself from using your phone or email unless you absolutely have to. Let employees pick up your calls or use VOIP service providers to receive any voice mail messages. Make sure, though, that you make yourself available if a really important client has to reach you. Remember that you’re on vacation for a reason so you might want to turn your devices off when you can. 

Everyone needs a vacation at some point so if you’re planning on going away, try not to bring your work with you. If you can’t, set limits so that you can balance your time between your business and taking care of yourself. It’s not easy detaching yourself from your business but neither is running it if you’re always tired and overworked. Let the people you trust handle what needs to be done so you can get some R&R. That way, you can come back fully refreshed and pumped to run your business again.