We all know the signs. In fact our close family & friends probably know them better than ourselves. The signs you need to step away for a break. For a variety of reasons, business owners & entrepreneurs often are the last to take a break from the business they love so much. Usually because they think the business can’t operate without them.

So how do you plan to remove yourself from your business? Here is our 5 steps to ensure you can remove yourself, recharge and return energised!

Commit. Pick a date for your break & record it in your calendar. It may be a long weekend, or perhaps a week. When you are comfortable with picking a date, this is the first step in keeping yourself accountable to having some time off!

Barriers. Consider the barriers that are in your way to make your break a reality. This list could include organising your partner to take time off work, arrangements for any other family members (and pets) and of course looking after your clients to ensure minimal impact. Operating procedures that must occur during your absence.

Strategise. Work through the list one by one to come up with a strategy to overcome the barriers. Assuming you are solo or perhaps a Mum & Dad business owner, one of your first steps would be to consider your regular client work – who are they and how to manage those projects in you absence – this also good contingency planning. No doubt you have a lot of knowledge not written down. Start thinking about those processes. Who is the best person(s) to support you & your clients in your absence? Are they available? Notify your clients of your impending break and if things will differ during this time, let them know. Ie, Hours of business, contact person etc.  Are there tasks that can be automated? Depending on programs used, tasks such as invoicing, social media, newsletters and even reminders can be automated – saving you time even when you’re not at work!

Implement. Starting to implement your strategies, includes recording the vast amounts of knowledge into instructions. You will need time to test your strategy with your support team, hand over the project, tasks in chunks if that makes it easier for you to let go. Be sure that you are honest with those filling your shoes. They won’t know everything you know and feedback is important to improve their performance.

Pack & Go! Surely this step doesn’t need any explanation!

Oh and it might make you feel better to leave a contact number so you can be reached should something urgent arise. Be sure to restrict the time you spend checking your emails etc or your  time away will just turn into a very expensive way of running your business with you in a different location!

Related: Common Myths in Partnering with a Virtual Assistant

Good luck with your planning, and of course if we can help you confidently take a break from your business – give us a call or send us an email!

By Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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