A holiday break?
There are two camps that take an entirely different approach to this concept. If you’re like many busy entrepreneurs during the end-of-year crunch, you’re probably thinking it’s inconceivable. While others believe they can benefit from stepping back a bit.
The reality is that you, too, deserve a healthy work-life balance — whatever that looks like for your unique business situation — and that includes time off from your business.
Taking a break from your work routine has numerous physical and mental benefits, including stress reduction and lessened tension associated with office demands. So lean back, relax and read on to learn how to fit a well-deserved holiday vacation, staycation or worcation, into your hectic schedule.
A little advance planning can go a long way in turning that elusive dream of time off into a reality. Contact your clients and let them know in advance that you’ll be out of the office during the holidays. Give them the specific dates and, if possible and necessary, provide contact information for your assistant or colleague who can assist them in your absence.
Even after you’ve given notice, make sure to set up an automated out-of-office email reply that briefly reiterates key information. It’s good practice to ensure senders receive a prompt email response to their queries, even if that response is to alert them of your temporary unavailability. Add a personal touch and make clients feel special by wishing them a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Resist Tech Temptations
If you’re spending the holidays with friends or family, then spend quality time with them — not with your smartphone or laptop. It’s not a work break if — though you’re not at the office — you detract from your downtime to conduct business matters from your electronic device.
Resist the temptation to check your work email by temporarily deleting the account from your smartphone. Remember, you can always add it back when the holidays are over. If you absolutely cannot unplug completely from your work network, set some clear boundaries — for yourself!
Impose strict daily limitations on when and where you can use your smartphone, and stick to them. Whenever possible, turn off your phone or — at the very least — set notifications to silent. Your friends or family will thank you for it. And, by the way, so will your body.
New research has suggested that turning off your phone can significantly reduce stress by eliminating the compulsion to react to new messages or social media interactions. So, put the smartphone down for a little while. Your body needs the break.
Last Minute Getaway Ideas
You’ve worked hard all year. Why not treat yourself — or your family — to a holiday vacation? If you haven’t ruled out travel this season, you still have time to book a last-minute getaway.
A vacation can be a great way to take your mind and body away from work. Here are a few tips to maximize your holiday vacay:
Consider a cruise.
If you’re looking to decompress, a cruise may be the perfect option. You’ll pay a single, all-inclusive fare that covers accommodations, food and entertainment as you travel between ports. A cruise gives you the opportunity to visit multiple destinations in a short amount of time, and you only have to unpack once!
You’ll also have the luxury of choosing from a vast selection of on-board activities, most of which are family friendly, as you set sail from one exotic location to another. Travel sites like Expedia.com let you search for affordable, last-minute cruises and more.
Give back and volunteer.
A vacation doesn’t have to be about resting on your laurels. If your passion is to serve the community, you can make the most of your holiday break by participating in an outreach project. USA Today lists the top 10 volunteer vacations for families.
You’ve heard about the benefits of exercise, including a significant reduction in stress, which is essential for overworked entrepreneurs. This holiday season, why not try something physical? From hiking a mountain to participating in board sports at the beach, a vacation with a physical component will rejuvenate your body and spirit so you’re extra-refreshed once you return to the office — and turn on your smartphone again.
Whether you choose a staycation at home with family or escape on an adventurous getaway, take some time to treat yourself. After all, a break can refresh your mind and benefit your productivity and business in the long run.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Savannah Flynn is a public relations specialist and online marketing enthusiast writing on behalf of WebpageFX. She is devoted to staying on top of the latest online marketing, social media and public relations trends. Connect with @WebpageFX on Twitter.