I hope you’ve blocked off some time during the holidays for a vacation or even “staycation”. Everyone needs a little time to relax, refresh and recharge. Even if you’re not “off” everyday, at least reduce your workload. Make time to catch up on general reading (non-fiction or fiction). Go for a walk. Spend time with your family or friends. Give yourself permission not to work.
Preparing for the Holidays
In order to do so, though you will need to do some prep work. Depending on your business and its size, you may need to do one, some or all of these tasks.
Here are a couple of things to do in advance:
1) Alert your clients
Luckily, many of your clients will be taking time off as well (which is why it’s a good time for you to take a break). I recommend sending individual emails which include emergency contact information – just in case. It’s also nice if you can give several days notice.
2) Notify contractors/freelancers/employees
If you work with a Virtual Assistant (VA or other person – make sure you let them know your dates and contact information. Also, if they are helping cover in your absence, make sure that you’ve given clear instructions. You may even want them to start a couple of days early to have a “test” run. Questions may arise – and they can ask before you actually leave.
3) Social Media
You have some options for your social media: a) you can either plan out posts for the time you’re gone; b) you can post that you’ll be gone; c) have your VA post while you’re gone. Depending on whether or not you’ve worked together before, you may need to plan a calendar in advance.
Before you leave, make sure that you’ve paid all your bills in advance.
To be safe, a couple of days before I leave I make a complete backup of my website. If anything happens, I know that I have a clean, full backup. If you do backups for your computer files, do one before you leave as well.
6) Out of Office message
If you don’t have someone checking and responding to your emails, make sure to add an out of office vacation email. Also, change your message to your voice message on your phone system (but remember to update it upon your return).
Do you have an autoresponder system set up? Do you have emails scheduled to go out? You may want to check and then either pause, or let your VA know that these emails will be going out on that specific date in case people have questions.
Have you sent them out? Or at least updated your timesheet/invoicing system? Have you received payments? Make sure everything is up-to-date.
9) Plan your day
When you return, you’ll hopefully have a clear mind. This might mean you don’t know where you should start. Before you go, write a list of top items that you need to work on upon your return. That way you won’t waste time and can get started right away!
10) Give yourself a day
When you return from any break or vacation, don’t schedule anything for one day. Give yourself time to get back in the swing of things. And time to catch up on important items first – before other people’s agendas start.