Holiday wisdom: why regular time out should form part of your business plan (& is good for the soul)

 I'm two days away from heading home after a fortnight in Greece and am looking forward to getting back into the office.  It's a great reminder of why taking regular time out should form part of your business plan. 

Holidays give you the chance to reboot and recharge so you're ready to grasp the nettle when back at your desk.

Distance from work gives you the objectivity you need to think about your business, what it needs and reconsider your goals.

Working too hard over long periods of time isn't good for anyone and also sets a bad example to your team and family.

Employers have a duty of care to ensure staff have a decent work-life balance and you should encourage them to use their holiday entitlement.

Here are a few things I've learned about holiday planning and getting the most from your leave both as a sole trader and agency boss.

  1. Approach leave like you would a campaign and prepare solidly. Check your deadlines and plan your workload so last minute issues are avoided. 
  2. Advise clients well in advance and make sure they know how to contact your team while you're away. I also give my details too as I'd rather be contactable in an emergency.
  3. If you work alone, bring in support. Working every day of your holiday defeats the purpose and you'll go back tired and frustrated. 
  4. Leave your account handlers a detailed brief as it saves regular queries over phone and emails. My team are fantastic and do everything they can to avoid bothering me. I trust them implicitly to make key client and campaign decisions. Everything ticks along as it should do and clients become equally confident in every team member because they see they have the authority and expertise to deliver what's needed.
  5. Use some of your holiday time to exercise. Finding the time to do this can be hard when caught in the daily grind. Get out while you can, you'll feel better for it and it's also the perfect excuse for escaping the family, even if you have to go back. Eventually.
  6. Blog. I enjoy writing but it's a case of the Cobbler's Child. I've churned out a few pieces this break and am happier and more informed for it. Reflecting over things you've read and experienced is a great way to learn. 
  7. Choose who you holiday with wisely. We are lucky to be with a fantastic family and both the adults are comm's people too. Rebekah and I have turned over the regional market (health, opportunities, competitors - the lot), talked about business strategy, discussed the challenges of being working mums and much more. It's been good for the soul.
  8. Write a funny out of office. One of my friends goes on the search for the world's best cheesecake when he visits New York. Right now mine links to Boney M's Hooray Hooray It's A Holi-Holiday track. It's fun and inspiring and it's great when everyone starts to follow suit.