Taking an unplugged vacation can be a challenge for many reasons. It takes some planning to set things up so that your business or your job can function without you. But if you take the following steps, you can leave with the confidence and peace of mind that will enable you to take a true vacation from work, and come back refreshed and rejuvenated.
- For key functions that must get done while you are away, have someone cover for you. Then create a system in writing that gives them the step by step of how this task gets done. Have them follow the system and perform it before you leave, so that you can tweak it or answer any questions while you are still there, and they will not need to contact you for questions while you are away. This will give you confidence that key tasks will be accomplished in your absence.
- If someone else will need to make decisions for you, leave them a set of rules and priorities that you tend to follow, which will help them to make these decisions without needing to speak with you.
- If you work directly with clients, notify your most important clients ahead of time that you will be out of the office, and let them know who to contact or who will be taking care of them in your absence. It is less likely that they will have an issue with dealing with someone else if it is not a surprise.
- Set up an auto-responder on your email that says that you will be out of the office until the date of your return, and that you will get back to them as soon as possible after that date. Leave an alternate person to contact if they need to speak with someone else or if they have an emergency.
- Inform your office that you intend to take an “unplugged” vacation, and ask them to please only contact you if it is a true emergency that no one else can effectively handle.
Donna Leyens is an entrepreneur and a Certified Professional Business Coach. She began her career as a Wall Street executive, and earned an MBA in Finance from NYU-Stern School of Business. Leyens is the co-founder and President of Provendus Group, a team of business strategists who help entrepreneurs achieve business growth and freedom. For the past five years, Leyens has been a leader for Believe Inspire Grow, a women's empowerment organization.