I don’t know about you, but as a business owner I find it really hard to take time off. The whole “making my own schedule” thing doesn’t mean I don’t prioritize our clients’ businesses over my own freedom. The trick to solving this, of course, is to have the right systems and team in place keep things running when I’m gone.
The funny thing is, even though I’ve got systems and teams now, I still noticed how anxious I get at the thought of going away.
So the last few months, I’ve been considering what it is that I ACTUALLY think will go wrong if I disconnect for a couple days or (gasp!) more. And I used what I learned to create a new checklist to thoroughly cover all the bases before I go.
Here’s an example:
You can see what I came up with below. Yours will vary depending on what you do and how you work, but anyone can use the same concept to create a little more space in their lives. And the anxious ones among us can have a little bit better time on their vacations
Scheduling & Logistics
Follow the company’s time-off policies to request time off.
Once approved, add to the staff time-off schedule wherever your company stores this info.
Communication and Auto-Responders
Mark your entire days off as a “busy” calendar entry in Calendar. – This will mark you as busy for Calendar appointments, CRM scheduling, etc.
Set your office phone number up to forward to whoever is covering for you (if people will actually get to your voicemail, rather than the cover persons’, change your greeting to a vacation message.
Clear your voicemail so it doesn’t fill up!
Change the greeting on your personal cell phone so people know you are gone.
Consider setting up an SMS auto-responder if you’re worried about texts lingering without reply.
Setup an auto-responder in E-mail (see below for a sample you can use)
Ensure the Work gets done
Is there someone your employees might need to get help for complex problems that you usually solve? Certain job functions no one else in your company can do? If so, let your potential replacement for that task know when you’ll be gone, so they’re prepared to hear from your team.
Before you go, sit with your team and talk through each client, active project and open sales opportunity so staff have context on decision-making. Discuss things like who to get support from, how things are configured, next steps for pending or active items, and pricing details for anything that needs to be quoted or sold.
Advise bookkeeping & accounting staff of travel to deal with issues of payroll, invoicing, A/R, A/P
Extra: Sample Out-of-Office Auto Responder
I’ll be out of the office, actually disconnecting, with limited or no access to E-Mail and Phone from [start date to end date].
If you have a pressing issue, please contact our xyzabc at 123.345.7890
If you are a client and need to get ahold of xyz to assist with abc, please use the following contact info to get help:
add current signature block!!
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