It’s officially summertime and vacation season.

Business owners often have a tough time grand canyon.jpgtraveling on two fronts.  First, there is often a sense that they are responsible for so many things that there is no way that they can truly shut down.  Then there’s the other side of the coin…the sense of overwhelm and overload when they get back.  Sometimes you may be left wondering if your time away was even worth it.

By the way, this is not just a summertime or vacation problem, many business owners experience exactly the same issues when they travel for business.

Here are a total of six strategies, three to set you up for your time away and three for when you get back, for you to try the next time you leave your day-to-day working environment whether it’s on business or pleasure.

While you’re away: 

  1. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure decide specifically what work you want to accomplish (if any) during that time.  If you’re going on vacation shutting down completely is ideal.  When I went away last summer, I compromised by allowing myself to review my email once daily for fifteen minutes.  I mainly deleted spam and kept my inbox from overwhelming me.  If you do work on vacation put a limit on how much time you are willing to take from your time off and devote to work.
  2. Have a team meeting and discussions with your clients. Let your team and clients know that you will be away and how long you will be gone.  Tell your team what their responsibilities are and what they should expect from you.  Also let them know what constitutes a big enough emergency to warrant contacting you.   Let your clients know whom to contact in your absence and what kind of response time to expect.
  3. Look at any responsibilities or projects that you have due during the two weeks after your return and make a plan for how you will get the work done.  Include time in your plan for unexpected things that may come up while you’re away or when you return.

When you get home:

  1. Unpack.  Regroup.  Settle in.  I can’t stress this enough.  Yes, you have work to catch up on and it will be much easier to do when everything is back where you need it.  Dr. Marilyn Paul, in her book It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys (best book title ever!), calls this process “getting back to ready.”  Whether you were away on business or on vacation take the time to wrap up that experience first so that you can best assess what you need to do to move forward.
  2. Meet with your team.  Is there anything that happened during your absence that you need to know about?  Anything that didn’t get done that was supposed to?  Anything that went super well (make sure to acknowledge it!)?
  3. Review the plan you made before you left (number 3 above).  See what came in while you were away and adapt your plan to include those things and get to it.

I hope that whatever traveling you have planned over the next few months is fun and brings you back to your office full of excitement and brimming with new ideas.  Add your comments below to share your upcoming travel plans and what you will be doing to keep your business going while you’re away.