Four Business Management Tips for When You Take Time Off

In this always-connected work-world we have created, it is hard to unplug when going on vacation or leave the office for multi-day events.  However, you need to do so in order to really relax, refresh, and come back rejuvenated.  So below  are four tips to help you prepare to be disconnected from work before you leave for vacation or any other event.
  1. Ask someone to be your "go to" substitute.  This could be one person who covers you typical work functions and the same person or another person for special projects you are involved with.  Give these people your emergency contact number and be sure they understand what might constitute an emergency that could require calling you rather than sending an email.  After you get their agreement, send out emails to those who may be looking for you during your vacation.  In the email include the dates you will be gone and the name(s) and contact information for your substitute.
  2. Check your work-related emails only once a day.  Plan for this ahead of time and if appropriate, let selected people know the time you may be checking email during your vacation in writing.  Send out an email which says "I will try to check my emails daily at ---."  This give your substitute, key team members, and your boss the option of asking quick questions or giving you a "head up" before you return.  Having a time they need to contact you by will keep you from having to worry about email when you should be having fun or relaxing.
  3. Limit business texts and phone calls.  The email tips above also applies to phone calls and those pesky text pinging you when you are in the middle of an excursion or fun photo.  So when you send out your email check time include a note about this too.  The note might be something like "Instead of texting or phoning me, please send an email so I have the details I need in advance to get back with you with the best possible answer."  This lets them know you want to help but puts the responsibility for questions back on them.  Often they may come up with their own answer or decide it is not as important as they first thought while trying o compose an email so they don't send it. 
  4. Set-up email out-of-office notifications.  This is an automatic email feature that tells people you are not available on certain dates and lets you compose a message.  Set-up a generic message body with the contact information of your substitute, but you do not need to say where you are going or why.  
If you do this right, there should not be any fires to put out or mounds of work waiting for you when you get back. Instead you should be ale to fall back into your routine immediately.  However, you should  expect to return the favor when another takes their time-off.


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