How to REALLY Take a Holiday When You Work for Yourself
When you're self-employed and it comes to holidays, it's both a blessing and a curse. On one hand you can take as much holiday as you like, but on the other - you will almost definitely have to work when you're away. As a seasoned expert in self-employed holidays I've learnt a trick or two about really getting away - and by this I mean switching the 'Out Of Office' on in your head. By this I mean having that peace of mind that you don't need to check your emails, that holiday feeling, that 'I don't know what day of the week it is - and I'm happy about it'.
Leaving your laptop and phone at home is most likely not an option, but there are some ways to deal with workload and the stress of remembering what you have to do when you go away.
1. Get everything done before you go away
Although this might seem like an impossible task, anticipating your diary for the week ahead when you're going to be away will help you prepare for the worst case scenario. Getting everything done ahead of time will ensure that you don't have to do anything too laborious while you're away - meaning you can spend more time actually getting away!
For example, I'll always try and get a lot of content planning done for Sassy Digital clients before I head off - or if it's a long haul flight I'll try and get it finished on the plane.
2. Handover anything you can to employees
Employees are your best friends when it comes to holiday. Handing over control to others can be a daunting task if you're a control freak (which let's face it - if you run your own business it's your baby and so you most definitely love being in control)
If you've already got everything you possibly can get done already done, then handing over shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure your clients/suppliers know your employees and who will be speaking to them in your absense. You can always be cc'd in if you want to jump in every now and again.
3. Put on your Out Of Office (yes, really)
And by this I don't mean 'I'm away and don't have access to my emails' - because this won't bode well with clients.
Set up your Out Of Office to something short but professional which also states that you'll be checking your emails intermittently. Even though everyone deserves a holiday it doesn't look good to clients if you're away too often. Here's what my Out Of Office says when I go away:
Subject line: Limited Email Access
Thank you for your email.
I'm currently out of the country and although I am still on emails I will have limited internet access.
I will get back to you as soon as possible, thank you for your patience.
4. Delete the email app from your phone
Deleting your email app from your phone will mean you have to log in on your phone's internet browser to check your emails. It's a bit of a faff to log in online, so you'll find that this will deter you from checking. The other thing you could do is set yourself certain times of the day when you can check your emails - whether it's first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed - limit yourself so that you can switch off during the rest of the day.
5. Write a 'To Do' list to refer back to
I get that jelly headed feeling when I go away - because nothing should really matter when you're on holiday. But because I work for myself, it's essential that I make lists of everything I need to remember just in case something important comes in. I love using Microsoft One Note for check lists. I literally have my whole life on there!
Written by Lucy Hitchcock - Founder of Sassy Digital and Sassy Bites