April Dunford, Author of Obviously Awesome and a leading positioning expert who is heading out on a long vacay recently asked, “People that take long vacations (like more than a week off) – how do you make sure you don’t get sucked into work, but stay on top of things enough that you aren’t completely buried when you get back?”
Here are the three approaches I suggested.
Ask an assistant to send you a short note, a paragraph, or up to 10 bullet points on what’s going on – twice a week. If doing it yourself, then keep a couple of hours on Monday evening and Friday afternoon to take care of what you can do in that time.
Have an assistant document what you need to do once you are back. They do not need to send it to you, but should add to that document daily. You can glance at it once a week or not depending on your comfort level with ‘not working’.
‘Announce a month long INTERMISSION, 6-months ahead of the scheduled date. Share with all who work with you. Pace your work so there is no rush before you start. Train someone to do 80% of what you do. Once back you will come to a super short to-do list.
I do this with my clients as soon as we start working together where I may update them 6-12 months ahead of my planned intermissions, and times when I’ll be not reachable at all.
This helps set up expectations and helps you prioritize communications and work as per your schedule.
Reaching this stage may take time and need conviction and confidence, but it’s worth it.