Preparing for a Summer Break: 5 Top Tips for Business Professionals

Published: June 26, 2024

As a business owner or busy professional, taking time off work can be very challenging. However, a well-deserved summer break is essential for maintaining productivity and avoiding burnout. It can be difficult to ‘switch off’ from work mode when you are away, so if you want to relax on holiday, proper preparation is key to ensuring that your absence doesn’t disrupt your clients’ operations or your workflow. Here are our five top tips to help you prepare for a smooth and stress-free summer break this year.

Tip 1: Plan Ahead! Planning is crucial to ensure a seamless transition while you’re away. Decide on your vacation dates well in advance, if possible. Notify your clients (and colleagues!) at least a month ahead to give them ample time to prepare and make necessary adjustments. Reviewing your current projects and creating a timeline to complete as many tasks as possible before your break is essential. Identify any tasks that need to be delegated or postponed and plan accordingly. You could also consider booking meetings with your clients to discuss upcoming deadlines, ongoing projects, and any tasks that need attention during your absence. This will help set expectations and address any concerns.

Tip 2: Delegate Responsibilities! Delegation ensures that your clients’ needs are met even while you’re away. If possible, arrange for a trusted colleague or a virtual assistant to cover for you and keep things moving while you are away. It’s important to ensure they are familiar with your clients and their requirements, so don’t forget to create detailed documentation of your regular tasks, including step-by-step instructions, login credentials, and contact information for key clients. This will make it easier for your backup to manage your responsibilities. If appropriate, you could also introduce your backup to your clients and provide their contact details to ensure clients feel comfortable and confident with the temporary arrangement.

Tip 3: Automate Routine Tasks! Automation can handle routine tasks, reducing the workload during your absence: You can set up an email autoresponder to inform clients of your absence, provide the dates you’ll be away, and include contact information for your backup or emergency contact. You can also pre-schedule social media posts using tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later to schedule social media posts in advance, helping to ‘keep the lights on’ even when there is no one at home! 

Tip 4: Prepare for Emergencies! While planning and delegation cover most scenarios, it’s essential to be prepared for unexpected issues: Provide your clients with an emergency contact method. This could be an email address you check occasionally or a phone number for urgent matters. You should also establish clear protocols for handling emergencies. Define what constitutes an emergency and outline the steps your support team should take in such situations. We all know of clients who have twice daily emergencies, so ensure that the difference between a real and exaggerated emergency are outlined! Finally, ensure your colleague or virtual assistant can access all necessary resources, such as files, documents, and software tools. This minimises disruptions in case they need to handle an urgent task.

Tip 5—Try to Wind Down Before Your Break: Winding down your workload will ensure a smooth transition from work to holiday. Focus on completing high-priority tasks and projects before your break. This will reduce the risk of unfinished work piling up in your absence. It’s also worth cleaning and organising your digital and physical workspace before your break. An organised and tidy environment makes it easier to pick up where you left off when you return.  Taking (and enjoying!) a summer holiday is possible and essential for your well-being and productivity. By planning ahead, delegating responsibilities, automating routine tasks, preparing for emergencies, and winding down your workload, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition for you and your clients. So go on, get out there, relax by the pool with a cocktail (alcohol-filled or alcohol-free!), and recharge your batteries—you deserve it!