If you are a small business owner like me, you probably can't just duck out of your office for a week to enjoy a vacation. Even though I took a "mostly" unplugged two week trip to Africa last September, it's pretty common for me to work while I am on vacation. I don't even mind it for the most part, because I can enjoy the best of both worlds: staying connected to the business I love and exploring the world. There are a few things I always do to maximize my work and play time while on vacation.
Here are my keys to working while on vacation:
1. Wake up early and get a full hour of work done- Even though vacation is for sleeping in, I always try and wake up at 7am and get one un-interrupted hour of work done. By the time my husband/friend/family is up and ready to go, I have already cleared my inbox and gotten a few tasks done.
2. Save activities where you can't have your phone until after 3pm or weekends- For my business it is imperative that you can check email. I always try and save activities where I won't have phone access (scuba/snorkel, sailing, ziplining, etc) for after 3pm or on weekends. If I save it for a time where I have less emails coming in, I don't have to waste an awesome activity being anxious about emails. I have been known to check email in some pretty amazing places (on the ski slope, on a boat, from a massage, etc).
3. Pay for internet access at your hotel and check your email- Not checking my email on a vacation is just not an option. I always pay for the internet in the hotel so I can have easy access to my email.
4. Prepare before by finishing up lingering projects- Preparing before you leave on a vacation is one of the most important tips! I always try and clear out my inbox and finish up any projects before I leave. If I know I have to work on a project or task on vacation, I set an alarm in my calendar to remember that it needs to be completed.
5. Put on an out of office reply for at least a full day- I always put up an out of office for at least one full day while I am on vacation. This way I can really relax and decompress, even if it is just for one day. I try and decide before my vacation which day so I can inform my clients.
6. If you have employees/interns, let them help you out- I am lucky to have an incredible employee and intern who both help out a ton when I am out of town. I am so lucky to be able to send them quick emails with tasks and ideas. I let them help me out as much as I can while I am on vacation.
What are your best tips for working while on vacation? I know most people will say they enjoy an unplugged vacation the most, but as a small business owner I love to be plugged in to what is going on at my company. Share your best tips and ideas below.