Summer time calls for a vacation and it’s a good time to reward yourself with some time off. It’s isn’t always easy to tear yourself away from your business but in order to refresh and rejuvenate, a few weeks of leisure is needed. The problem is, many people take a break and end up reflecting over work when they’re away, from the tiniest of scenarios to what sort of environment or clogged inbox they’ll be walking in to when they return. It doesn’t need to be like this though. If the thought of post-vacation fills you with dread, consider taking a few of these steps before you pack your suitcase.

Plan Of Action

A few weeks before you’re heading away, meet with your team and discuss a plan of action for when you depart. Assign tasks, delegate what is needed and cancel meetings during your time off. If you want to be kept updated with what is happening, ask your second in command to keep you informed every other day or at a frequency that you would be comfortable with. Ask them to outline the main points, and only ring if it is an emergency. In doing you, you know what is happening back at the office and can choose to check in with these emails if you want to.  Ensure that your out of office and voicemail explains your vacation dates, and provide an alternative contact. Not everyone will pay attention to these, but the majority will realise you’re on vacation and leave you alone. Having a point of contact for when you’re away is very important; it means less work when you return and someone to go to for detailed questions and problems.

Unfinished Business

It’s easy to throw a project to the side and say you’ll deal with it when you get back to your desk, but you will deeply regret this later on. On top of emails to respond to, calls to make and meetings to attend, this work will just be a nuisance. Assign time to get everything done – down to the very last email – a few days before you depart, and cross all tasks off your checklist. If it’s impossible to get it all done, leave notes about where you’re at and what needs doing for when you return, and ensure you alert any colleagues about the delay in any projects.

Pre-Vacation Cleaning

Nothing makes getting back to work harder than working in a cluttered space. The transition from poolside to desk chair will be disastrous. Work will be everywhere, and your relaxed vacation mind will want to just turn and go out of the door. Before you jet off for some sun, file away projects, tidy emails into folders, empty your trash and clean the workspace. If your desk tends to be drop-off from colleagues with notes and reports, leave a polite and clear note that they should leave it with your second in command instead, which will alleviate mess when you get back too.

Add A Little Downtime

It isn’t always easy to go from play to work after a really relaxed vacation, so do ensure that when you are back in the office, it isn’t all work and no play. Schedule in dates with friends and family, and plan things ahead of schedule like ball games and weekend theatre trips that you can look forward to. Getting back to work can be demanding on your time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make time for yourself.

Outsource

Not everyone has a team to fall back on when they go away, and you may be worried about leaving your business completely in the lurch. When you hire a Virtual Assistant, they can deal with customer enquiries, process orders, sort your inbox, take care of your digital presence and forward anything urgent to you if it is pressing, as well as a whole list of additional tasks. They learn how you operate and get to understand your clients. You can set up a trial run before you depart to iron out any issues, and then have the peace of mind that your highly trained VA will be dealing with everything. This will definitely equal a very relaxed return to work.