It may seem like a while ago, (even if it was only last week), but how was your last holiday? Was it relaxing, fun filled, all the time you wanted with your family and friends? Or did you, like thousands of other business owners, find yourself pulled by the invisible force of your laptop or mobile device at least once of twice a day?

If you did, you’re about to receive some tough love. Brace yourself, here it is:

Your business should be able to survive without you for 2 weeks.

If you’re thinking, ‘well, I don’t really work, I just feel a lot better if I check in once a day’, you’re kidding yourself. You’re still working, you’re not switching off and you are not living fully in the moment with your family and friends. If you’re doing this on your holiday you can guarantee you also do it on the weekend and at family events (weddings etc). If you continue you are risking:

Burnout

Serious illness including heart disease and cancer

Alienating your family which can and does lead to estrangement and even divorce

[/x_columnize][x_blockquote cite=”Michael Hyatt” type=”center”]Those who feel satisfied with their personal lives are more satisfied with their careers and perform better[/x_blockquote][x_columnize class=”man”]

Even if you have the full support of your family you are still taking too big a risk with your health. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing and neither does your family.

What you’re really aiming for is a family filled and meaningful long life full of memories, love and laughter. Your current way of working is guaranteed to give you the opposite.

OK lets stop with the tough love. If you’ve come this far it’s only fair we share with you a few simple steps you can implement today that are guaranteed to business proof your family time:

Schedule Ahead

Highlight on your calendar when you are next away from the office (include 1 day breaks and weekends too)

Check for any tasks that would normally happen during the period you are away

Can any of this work be completed in advance?

Who can you train to manage these tasks in your absence?

Manage Your Customers Expectations

Before going on holiday send an email to your contacts letting them know when you will leave and when you will be back and who they can contact in your absence

Set up an out of office response for any emails you receive whilst you are away providing the same information
Change your voicemail message providing the same information (in fact, stop providing people with your mobile number and have someone else answer your phone for you permanently)

Disaster Prevention

Decide what constitutes an emergency

Under what circumstances is it important enough that you should be contacted (this shouldn’t include a possible new customer etc)

How do you want to be contacted?

What information are you likely to need to make a swift decision?

Don’t wait until you’re about to go on holiday to put these systems in place, do it today. The more time you give yourself to plan well, the less your business will need you when you’re not around. Mark today with a big red circle on your calendar and celebrate it every year. Today was the day you finally business proofed your family life.

Take a look here to see how other companies and business owners are finding their work life balance.

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