Owning a business is a vacation-less job. 24/7 you are expected to answer calls, respond to emails and dash off on a moment’s notice in order to handle the inevitable crisis. Not to mention, if you are a small business owner, odds are you don’t have the money to bask on the beaches of Cancun or ski the Swiss Alps; you are tied to your work because your work is your life. The term “Staycation” has become a phenomenon within the past ten years precisely for this reason. It’s simple: enjoy your neighborhood, find something relaxing to do at home, spend quality time with family and friends, dine out sans cell phone. You don’t have to spend a fortune, you just have to relax. Do this for the period of time you would have otherwise dedicated to a full-fledged vacation. And yet is it really that easy? Can we truly turn the cell off? Disengage from the devices? And let our business go without our undivided attention (or possibly without any attention) so that we may enjoy even the fledgling staycation? Here are a couple of tips for helping you to participate happily in that much-needed time away.
Utilize out-of-office responses. Many, for some strange reason, refuse to activate such messages. Perhaps this is because even away from our desk, emails enable us to keep an eye on things no matter where we are or what time of day. When it’s your own business especially, this ability to stay informed is critical. And yet, refusing to sever that email tie, undermines the benefits of the staycation. Automated responses assure prospective clients that you are not ignoring them, you are merely taking a moment to enjoy your life. Certainly, they can’t fault you for that. And for god’s sake, just turn off the cell phone (or at least mute it.) Most find this impossible to do. There are those who even sleep with their cells tucked next to their pillows–the demanding vibrations far more effective than any alarm clock. If you can’t not look, try losing your charger for a couple of days. A dead phone is at least a quiet one. Regardless of what you have to do to disengage and relax for even a short amount of time, do it. Once in a while you have to remember what living is actually like.