Those who are actively involved in business don't often have time to take a week off for vacation. It's just not that feasible, especially if you are the owner or ramping up some new services. Fortunately, you can prepare ahead of time for a working vacation and still spend quality time with family and friends. Here's how.
1. Schedule your work.
Before you leave on vacation, string together any phone calls, email sessions, and even text chats with employees so they are grouped together. This reduces stress and helps you to focus and plan your activities. Be really intentional about how you block out your time for work, and be a bit spontaneous with all other activities.
2. Bring extra chargers.
The only way to tackle a few projects while on vacation is to make sure you have plenty of power. You might be heading to the beach or flying long distance. A working vacation is much different from a normal business trip. You'll never know if you can charge up. I like the Goal Zero products because they are rugged and many of them charge using the sun.
3. Communicate fully about your plans.
The problem with working while on vacation is usually that it seems like you have a divided heart. You are bowling with the kids one minute and tapping on your phone the next. A better approach is to be clear about your plans and then don't try to work and have fun at the same time. Let everyone know -- OK, on Tuesday morning I am going to do phone calls.
4. Prepare the office personnel.
Before you head out, let everyone know you are going to be doing some work at set times and days during the vacation. Let them know you are only available during those times. That will help them realize you are mostly out of commission but can still reach you.
5. Pick your priority.
This is mostly a vacation, and you're trying to squeeze in a little work. Everyone already knows you will break away to find a corner to check email. What if you can't find a corner (or your laptop)? That's OK -- just skip the work. For the most part, you are on vacation. If work gets in the way too much, just ditch it and focus on what's important.
Go into a working vacation with the mindset that you are trying to stay on top of a few things but not focus on work. Enjoy the time away and relax. Yet, one thing that will help you with stress while you are gone is still connecting up intentionally. This way, when you get back to the office, you don't find multiple disasters waiting for you.