How to switch off when you’re on holiday this year

July 18th 2022 – Written By Stephanie Sheargold

Whether you’re a beach bunny or a culture vulture, holidays are undeniably good for your health. But when you run a business or have a busy job, getting a truly restful break can be a challenge. The temptation to check how your projects are going, the underlying unease about unanswered emails, and all the work you’ll have to catch up on when you return, are enough to undo a holiday glow faster than any delay at passport control. But there are some things you can do to make your holidays more restful and your return to work less overwhelming. Here are some of the ways we typically help our clients.

Plan early
This might seem obvious, but it’s something lots of people forget to do! No matter when you’re going away and for how long, tell people in advance. If you’re not going to get the chance to tell them in person, send a round-robin email to make sure everyone gets the message. Changing your email footer is another practical way of making sure the message gets through. And if your business will be completely closed while you’re away, make sure your website, social media and Google my Business reflect this information. If you don’t have time to do these things yourself, your VA can easily take care of this on your behalf.

Book in some back-up
Temporary cover can be a godsend while you’re away. If you don’t have a team to hand over to, a skilled VA is the next best thing. A virtual assistant can keep an eye on your emails while you’re away and alert you to anything that needs an urgent response. They’ll also make sure you return to a tidy inbox, not a sea of unread emails and clashing calendar invites! TIMPI VAs can also provide a telephone answering service – invaluable for ensuring your customers are taken care of while you’re away and to make sure you don’t miss any leads. Need some help progressing a project while you’re away? Your VA will probably be able to help with that too – take a look at our business support services to see just how much a TIMPI VA can help with.

Make the most of tech
Make technology work for you while you’re away. Social media scheduling tools are a fantastic example. Instead of being a slave to social media algorithms and sharing content regularly while you’re away, use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite. That way, you can engage with your client base and keep the algorithm happy. Of course, posting is only half the story. So, as well as scheduling your posts, get your VA to engage with any responses that you receive while you’re away. Even better, they can engage with other posts on your behalf if you’re happy for them to do so. Tech can also help you stay on top of projects while you’re away. Monday or Trello are a great way for you to check in with how your team’s getting on while you’re away, without the need for a time-consuming update.

Book in some work time
This may seem counter-intuitive to some. But the reality is that for most business owners and professionals, it’s just not realistic to fully unplug while on holiday. The FOMO is too real and translates into covertly checking your emails every hour – not relaxing for you or your holiday companions. So instead, agree a plan that allows you to work within clear boundaries – perhaps an hour and a half before breakfast or during siesta time. Doing this will satisfy the itch to work while allowing you to switch off for the rest of the time and better enjoy your holiday.

Brief in your big projects before you go away
September through to December is one of the busiest time of year for creative agencies and freelancers. It’s easy to see why; everyone returns from their holidays and starts briefing in their work, keen to have it completed before the end of the year. So why not get ahead of the curve and brief in your project before you go away? You get a head start on your competition and can return from your break, safe in the knowledge that part of your year-to-go plan is already in hand.

And relax…
Seriously! The always-on culture is bad for our health; make sure you take the time to truly relax and enjoy spending time with your family and friends. By doing this, you do more than rest and recharge. You actually improve your performance. New experiences increase creativity, while taking time away from your desk and disengaging from your work can increase your resilience in the face of stress, reducing your chances of burnout.

Our team of VAs are on hand all year round to help with everything you need to run your business and home life smoothly. Wondering if a VA is right for you and your business? Read our blog ‘Why startups swear by using a Virtual Assistant’