Oh yes, the holiday, an enemy for some entrepreneurs, but one that is essential to have when running a business to help your mind and body take some much needed R&R.

How can you prepare for a holiday, to make sure your stress levels aren’t sky-high while away, that you need a holiday to make up for the stress of a holiday?

Here are my tips as a virtual assistant, that I have learned for myself or from clients I help. I hope you find them useful, and perhaps share some of your preparation with us too, in the comments!

  1. It’s all about the notifications! Let your clients know that you will be away, and how they can contact you in case of an emergency. What I have found is, when I share this emergency contact information, most clients really don’t need it, and never use it, but having it is a good way to put them (and yourself!) at ease.
  2. Add an extra day onto the arrival date, so you have enough time to go through your inbox, and to recover from the jet lag. If you are having a long-haul flight, this is an essential, so you can recuperate and have some rest after the flight. Even if you aren’t flying anywhere, you will need some time to unpack, get everything in order, and clear out your inbox (especially if you don’t have someone like a VA managing it for you while you are away). Give yourself this extra time, I promise you it will be truly helpful to your sanity.
  3. Do not find a hotel with Wi-Fi, unless it’s a working holiday. You will just get tempted to check your emails and continue to work, making it…surprise…not a blooming holiday! All too often do I have clients ask me to manage their email inbox, and I spot them replying and checking in – why ask someone to care for your emails for you, when you are going to cheekily check them yourself? It also means that those who are with you will potentially get a little miffed, if you are spending a few hours each day replying to messages!
  4. Turn off your phone, even if it’s only for the excursions. Take that time to be truly free from notifications and disruptions, so you can enjoy your holiday. If your only means of photographing the holiday are your phone, turn it onto Do Not Disturb, so you don’t get any calls or interruptions while you take in the sites, and enjoy the time with your friends and/or family.
  5. Take a notebook with you, for ideas that pop into your mind. I often find my best ideas for my business are during my downtime, so I personally take a notebook with me for when I have these ideas, so I don’t forget them. If you are similar to me in that respect, why not take a special “holiday ideas” notepad with you. It’s a great reason to go to your favourite stationary store and treat yourself! (Am I the only one who loves stationary shops?!)

BONUS TIP – actually take some holidays. Coming from someone who has had a few years without a holiday, prior to realising the necessity for time off, I can attest to how helpful they are for productivity and inspiration. We can get stuck in our own day-to-day lives as entrepreneurs, and it can make us feel low, and demotivated. Start with a long weekend away, to see how that feels, then you can upgrade to a few days off in the week.

How do you prepare for a holiday? I’d love to hear!