How to Go Out of Office for Real in 4 Simple Steps
When was the last time you took a vacation? Not just a long holiday weekend where you peel away from the action to take client calls or check emails. I’m talking about a prolonged amount of time away from your business and as unplugged from notifications, email, and messages as possible.
Taking time for you to relax and recharge is an investment into your firm’s future growth. Making this a priority can help you grow your business, enjoy your success, and stay at your best.
In this article, we break down exactly what you need to do to take a vacation and actually rest easy. No more frantic emails or calls from your team or clients while you’re on questionable cell service or WiFi. Our goal for this post: Give you the tools to confidently put that OOO message in your email.
Why Taking a Break is Critical for Accounting Firm Owners to Avoid Burnout
Taking a break is important for anyone, but it’s especially important if you own your own firm. You see, many firm owners find it hard to separate their businesses from their personal identities. But this separation is critical if they want to maintain a sense of personal time outside their work time.
What Is Taking a Break When You Own Your Own Business?
Taking a break when you own a business means setting boundaries and not feeling guilty. You don’t have to hustle 24/7 to reap the benefits of success. In fact, improving your work-life balance is key to overall wellbeing. Remember, a rested mind is a sharper mind.
A few ways you can help yourself take a break:
- Use time-blocking and double down on time management.
- Delegate or cross-train key processes and responsibilities to trusted employees to allow for back-ups when you need to take time off.
- Automate business processes for the team and your own work where it makes sense, including e-signatures on contracts, scheduling time on your calendar, and sharing your access view in key programs.
- Effectively communicate your out of office plans with your team ahead of time.
Benefits of Taking Time Off as an Entrepreneur
When you take a break as an entrepreneur, you’re giving yourself permission to rest and breathe. Taking regular breaks allows you to replenish your energy levels and your creativity. They also provide you with a healthy work-life balance, which will make you more likely to love your business and stick with it in the long run instead of growing to hate it.
How to Finally Take a Break from Your Business Without Losing a Cent in 4 Steps
Here’s how you can finally take a break from your business, without losing revenue. I promise you that it’s possible.
1. Take Your Vacation Days
This is one of those moments when you’ll want to treat your business the same way you’d treat a 9-5: If you have a designated number of vacation days in a year, take them. It’s likely you’ve factored your vacation time into your take-home pay with your accountant or bookkeeper, so use that time.
Since you own your own business, you will have to set these vacation days yourself, and that’s okay. Take a calendar and chart out the best times to take a specific number of vacation days for yourself. Then, go ahead and take that time off. Preparing ahead of time can ensure a smooth transition and encourage you to take vacation more often in the future.
2. Set Normal Business Hours (and Actually Stick to Them)
This may be difficult, especially if you’re used to an always-on mindset. But keeping regular business hours can help you form a separation between work and your life outside of it.
Once you clock out for the day, switch off your email notifications, and try not to check them again until you clock in the next morning. They’ll still be there in the morning! If you get a lot of instant messages and texts, it might be worth turning off notifications for those, too. You can always go into your texting app when you feel ready to talk — instead of feeling the urge to immediately answer a message flashing across your screen at off-work hours.
3. Take Breaks During the Workday
Keep a regular lunch hour and block it off on your calendar. Do your best not to schedule meetings during it. Use the time not just to eat lunch, but also to read a book or watch some TV. Use this time as a part of your day when you have built-in room to unwind.
4. Delegate and Automate Key Tasks and Responsibilities
Yes, this step is key. Establishing a backup protocol and cross-training should be built into your business processes already. It’s also important to establish this type of work well before you go on vacation to work out any kinks. Test your team members as backups leading up to a long vacation for best results. As you start to scale your team’s work, you stop being a bottleneck and can focus on growing your firm when you get back to work.
Taking a Vacation Made Easier with a Firm Management Software
It can be physically painful to take yourself out of the loop of the business you built so carefully — even for just a few days. But, the wellbeing of you and your company overall outweigh the need to be on-call at all times and days of the year. Recharging your brain cells and reconnecting with loved ones and your own passions can have real benefits to your business and those on your team, including improved productivity, efficiency, and happier employees.
Try Jetpack Workflow free for 14 days, and begin the process to set yourself up for some well-deserved time off. By automating processes of your firm, you can take yourself and key team members out of the loop of project management so everyone can focus on getting the work DONE and growing your firm.