Unplugging or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the vacation

Can you easily take a week – or a month – off of work and completely unplug without worry? You’re probably going to take some time off this summer and it should be smooth sailing. The key is preparation, because you want your clients to feel well taken care of and you want to feel comfortable going off of the grid.

Here are 12 things to do before heading out.

• Get all of your social media pre-scheduled to post while you’re away

• Change your voice message to indicate that you are out of the office and give an emergency contact

• Change your email auto responder so that senders aren’t left wondering why you haven’t replied

• Notify clients that you will be out and handle what needs to be done now and put the rest aside for your return

• Have a backup person available for client emergencies

• Get your newsletter ready to go, if appropriate. You can even pre-schedule it to go out while you are away.

• Have your calendar ready to go for your first week back. While work should be out-of-sight, out-of-mind, you may want to check it maybe the day you head home. And give yourself a grace day or two when you get back to work. It’s best to ease back in instead of planning a trip or something really important on that Monday

• Create a short document that lists your current projects, status, contacts, what needs to be done next so that not only YOU know, but any backup support will know

• Let people know you will be completely unavailable. I mean, it is vacation. You can do it.

• Turn off work email coming to your cell phone so you aren’t distracted.

• Backup your email and other important files on your computer. Just in case.

• Plan a few hours of email time when you get back to town. Maybe even the day before heading back to the office.

If you’re like many people, you won’t completely unplug. I sometimes sign on to my email once in the middle of my trip just to clean out all of the inevitable junk and spam email so that all I’m left with are legit emails. With a little careful planning you won’t feel so rushed trying to get ready to leave town and you won’t feel the crush of work when you get back. Take some pictures and let me know how much fun you had!

Amy Kinnaird is one of Louisiana’s most respected C-Level business strategists and a popular professional speaker. She specializes in helping leaders and staff become more productive, resulting in a more lucrative workplace. You can reach Amy via email at Amy@AmyKinnaird.com