Taking time off from work can leave you feeling more stressed than if you were actually at work. This can be especially true if you're a startup or entrepreneur whose day to day is rarely consistent as you work to build your brand. You may find it difficult to unplug and getaway knowing that the office still needs running.
At least, that's how I used to feel. I used to think a work-life balance was something you earned after years of dedication and sticking to your role. I didn't think it was possible for me to leave for an extended period of time and come back feeling good about it.
Luckily, I've seen that there are a plethora of benefits to taking some time off, regardless of your role in a company. Everyone needs a reset and relax button. Quite frankly, I wish more companies demanded this of their employees the way other countries do.
That being said, it's easier said than done sometimes. That's why I've put together 3 things you can do to help you relax during your much needed break. Hopefully it will help you develop a strategy that makes you feel good about leaving.
Leave as much work as you can done.
This may seem obvious but complete as much as you can prior to leaving. You can do this by scheduling time off months in advance so that you manage your time wisely before you leave. Plan ahead and keep some room for the unexpected.
While you might not be able to finish everything before you leave, doing the most important tasks won't make you feel guilty or stressed about it. In fact, you'll feel refreshed knowing that you managed so much. I recommend taking time to create outlines and milestones of tasks and projects you want to see to completion.
There's advice all over the web saying to leave your phone at home or never check it, but that's not always an option. If checking in every day will allow you to go to bed each night with a clear conscience, do it. However, only check in for a few minutes at a specific time each day - and stick to those rules.
Use one medium (phone calls, emails, daily report, etc.) to avoid an overload and only tell one or two key people that you will be checking in daily at this time. Practice self-control and restraint while away, as hard as it may be. Remember, your employees or colleagues are there to help. Trust that they can do their job and you'll likely earn their respect.
Be prepared for the worst.
You can plan your trip two years in advance, let everyone know about it every six months, and catch up on everything. But the truth is you can never know exactly what the future holds. That's why having staff members who are trained that you can trust is vital, regardless of whether or not you are on vacation.
It's always good to be prepared. Cross-train your employees so that they know what to do in the event that someone has an emergency and must be away for an extended period of time. Having guides and refresher courses every so often helps.
My staff often uses video tools to guide other members of staff on tasks that they work on. Communication and confidence that everyone can work together to keep things flowing has made the team that much stronger.