Your Work Shouldn’t Join You on Vacation. How to Achieve Work Life Balance on Vacation.
Entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small business owners don’t take much vacation time. When they do, they are constantly thinking about their business which does not help them achieve any meaningful work life balance.
While I always preach to my clients that they create a clear separation between their family time and their business time, the reality is many struggle to create boundaries. Their work planning, launching, and growing their business often intrudes into their private life. blends into their private lives.
The flip side is also often true, that they struggle to maintain/honor their family commitments since they are constantly focused on growing their business.
Between July 4th and Labor Day, this internal struggle business owners face in maintaining a balance is always in a heightened state of animation.
What can business owners do in order to create a clear division of work and family life this summer vacation season?
1. Set Boundaries Beforehand: An effective strategy to implement is to define parameters in which there can be no interference from your business while you and your family are away on vacation.
2. Assign Ownership: Before you head out on vacation, assign specific tasks and responsibilities you would normally assume to your staff and explain your expectations.
3. Block Out Time For Work Access: Set time frames each day or every few days that your employees can contact you and explain that those are the ONLY times you may be reached.
4. Leave Your Work At Work: It may be unrealistic to expect you to leave your cell phone, tablet or laptop at home, but don’t bring work with you. The reality is you’ll want to bring work and lie to yourself that you won’t do it when we all know the reason you bring it is you PLAN on doing work on vacation.
5. Set Family Expectations Beforehand: If you know you need to schedule a work call or do work during your family’s vacation, then sit down with them beforehand and explain the specific days and times you’ve set aside for work on vacation, then honor those commitments.
6. Change your attitude about family time: I ask my clients to truly “buy into” the benefit of disconnecting. Nearly all of my clients who take a vacation see at it as a
distraction or barrier to achieving their goals. Change your attitude!
7. What your tombstone will say: I always remind my clients that when all is said and done do they honestly believe their tombstone will read: “Hear lies (insert your name here.) They could have worked more hours.” SEE #8…
8. Define Your Legacy: Often it helps those entrepreneurs and start-ups who are just starting their business to write in complete details what it is that they hope to accomplish and leave behind. Some will say they want to launch a successful business and sell it. Others will say they want to plan, launch and grow a business so they can leave it for a family member.
I propose you extend your reasoning and ask: What are the impacts I want to achieve with this business on our society. When you are tasked with defining what you want your legacy to be, it will hopefully reinforce your values and by extension your family so you can intertwine them and maintain a co-equal balance between your business goals and what you want your impact to your family to be.
9. Let Others Know You’ve Left: Send out an email to all interested parties letting them know that you will be on vacation with family, you’re off-limits, and tell them when you’ll be back.
Well, that’s my list of suggested tactics you can employ to create a clear division between your work life and your family time. What do you think? What would you add to the list? How do YOU achieve work-life balance?
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Coach