Do you find that you can’t get away from work completely when you are on holiday?
Are you always checking your emails while you are away?
Do clients and colleagues call you on your mobile?
All it takes is just a little bit of planning so that you can really relax and unwind on holiday. Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Tell your clients that you are going to be away. Give them plenty of notice so that they can plan any work that they might want you to deal with and let them know who to contact for help while you are away.
It is a great excuse to call your key clients and, who knows, you might find they have some additional work for you! If you have a lot of clients or customers, you could send out an email to them all or put a little footnote in your email signatures for 2 – 4 weeks before your holiday.
2. Forward your emails to a colleague, PA or virtual assistant. If you work for yourself, you could you make an arrangement with someone in the same line of business whereby you cover for each other when you go on holiday.
3. Set up an out of office message – an out of office email message tells your clients and colleagues that you are away and when you will be back. It could also include a note of who to talk to while you are away. Remember too to change your answerphone message on both your desk phone and your mobile.
It frustrates me enormously when I call someone’s mobile and they answer and tell me that they are actually on holiday. Why are they answering the phone?!
4. Switch it off – turn off all work-related devices while you are away. I know that might sound pretty scary for some of you… Don’t answer your phone unless you are expecting a personal call and, depending on what mobile device you have, either disable emails while you are away or don’t open the mail app.
5. Create an emergency contact plan – discuss with your colleagues or assistant how to contact you if a work-related emergency occurs. Also make sure you both have the same understanding of what constitutes an emergency.
I arrange with my virtual assistant that she will text me if she needs me urgently and that I will switch my phone on for texts once a day. I also give her the contact details of where I am staying so that she can contact me that way if necessary.
Follow these 5 steps and you can confidently go away on holiday knowing that you can switch off completely and enjoy your time with your nearest and dearest.
If you have found this blog useful you might also like to read Switching Off.
What other tips do you have for avoiding work-related interruptions?