How to have a guilt-free vacation

vacation beach illustration

Founders take pride in being workaholics. My mom, who owns a mid-size food business, rarely goes on a vacation. My siblings and I try to prepare everything for her to come with us but she insists that she’s needed in the daily operations.

We hired extra staff to cover for her for a 3-day vacation once, but she insisted that the people we hired wouldn’t know what to do. I wanted to argue that we still had a few weeks to train them but I gave up. 

There was no use convincing a part-time entrepreneur.

While never taking a break and being workaholic looks admirable to (some) employees, it ends up pulling you away from family – the reason for the hustle in the first place.

Coming from both sides, I know it’s not easy to simply hop on a plane and leave everything but there are ways to prepare for a vacation to enjoy it guilt-free.

Project: Vacation

Treat your vacation as a project that needs an objective, preparation, and completion.

First, fill the pipeline with work that can be done while you are away. Delegate it to people so you can rest assured that your company continues to be productive. 

If you need to have design work done, simply request your design needs straight to Deer Designer’s pipeline.

Second, meet your team to draw the line between what is an “emergency” and what is not. Train your most trusted staff to triage problems amongst themselves before calling or emailing you.

This will not only train them to become a stronger, more independent team, but it will also save you hours of unnecessary phone calls while on vacation.

How to make the most out of your vacation

You must have forgotten how to have a good time because you probably haven’t done so in years. Let me refresh your memory with a few pointers to help you make the most of your valuable time away from work.

Go offline, if you can

There is no pressure here. Because you’ve devoted so much of your life to building your company, it’s understandable that you’re nervous about leaving it. 

However, while on vacation, I would advise you to limit your working hours to one (zero if possible). 

To avoid distractions and broken equipment, leave your phone and laptop in your hotel room if possible. You’ve seen what sand and water can do to gadgets, haven’t you?

Get a book to read

Fiction preferably. Self-help non-fiction books will only make you think about work. If fiction isn’t your thing, try autobiographies and be inspired by the success of real people.

Spend time in nature

Look at the sand, the water, the trees, the animals, and the night sky and notice how everything is in perfect harmony. This isn’t just me waxing philosophical; it’s backed up by science.

Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but also contributes to your physical well-being by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

Connect with family

Utilize your primary source of inspiration.

Be present and enjoy that moment with your family. You can’t expect them to give up gadgets and their own work overnight, but you can set a good example. Your professional life can wait. Family comes before everything else.

Ponder on your purpose

Vacation time is quiet time, and it’s also a great time to check in with the Creator to see if you’re fulfilling your true purpose. 

Even if you’re just spending your vacation or Easter weekend at home, it’s a great time to reflect on your entrepreneurial journey and sacrifice.

If you’re about to start a new business, use this retreat to mentally and spiritually prepare yourself. 

If you’re in the midst of a hectic schedule, now is the time to unwind and recharge. If you’re about to meet your goals and move on to the next stage of your life, it’s time to give thanks for your blessings.

A fulfilling vacation is one that helps you become a better entrepreneur.

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