How to take a vacation like a boss

Life as a leader in your organization can include some long nights and weekends – even if you’re proactive about finding the balance between work and life, as we try to be here at McNary Marketing and Design.

In those moments, you might feel like you need a vacation more than ever – and at the very same time, it might feel impossible to actually unplug and get away.

After years of self employment and growing the business, Joshua has managed both solo travel and trips with the family. It is possible to take a break as a founder and keep your business running smoothly, whether it’s a short road trip or the epic getaway you hope your kids will always remember.

Here are our top tips:

  • OmniFocusPolish your to-do list before you leave: Write down and prioritize everything you’ll need to do when you get back, in addition to any mission-critical things you plan to attend to while away. By getting it all out on (digital) paper you’ll know you have a game plan for your return, and those pesky little to-dos won’t be gnawing at the back of your mind as much. If you don’t already have a system in place, we like OmniFocus for Mac, Toodledo or Wunderlist.

  • Set aside time to catch up while on vacation: If you’re used to being totally connected around the clock, you might not want to go cold turkey on email, Slack and project management the second your town is in the rear view mirror – especially if you have a team that’s working in your absence. Rather, set aside dedicated times to check in, so when you’re working you can focus on work and when you’re relaxing or exploring you can be totally present. We like app-restricting tools like Freedom or Inbox Pause to help manage this time. 15 minutes per day might be all it takes to feel connected and set your mind at ease.

  • Set aside time to catch up before and after vacation: Even if you plan to be gone only a 7-day week, go ahead and tell people you will be going 9 days. Use the day prior to vacation and the day after as catch up days to ease into and out of vacation. Further, when you reply and start getting things done “early” in perception of your contact you’ll look like a rockstar.

  • Buffer LogoAutomate: Today’s best digital tools can practically do work for you while you kick back. Use Buffer to keep your social media accounts active (just don’t automate anything sensitive that you might want to respond to in real-time), and Zapier or IFTTT to consolidate your messages and to-do items as much as possible. Lifehacker has a full post dedicated to vacation automations.

  • Be straightforward with customers: There’s the classic email vacation responder, but why make your customers contact you only to find out you’re not there? Be proactive about sharing your modified schedule. Especially if you’re a B2C operation, don’t leave your customers wondering if you’ll be open during a holiday or long weekend. Share on your social media accounts and website. Your clients and customers will understand – we’re all human.

Do you have any favorite tips for travel as a leader? Contact us and let us know – and best wishes for all of your summer travel.

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