One of the more difficult aspects of taking on a management position is that you can feel like you’re always on-call, especially when you’re trying to take some time off on a vacation. Here are some tips on how to plan ahead so that you can actually enjoy your much needed R&R instead of staying glued to your phone:
- Delegate: Take some time to go through all the tasks that you perform solo on a regular basis. Then determine who can take care of each task while you’re away. You don’t need to dump everything on one person–delegate tasks to a few individuals so that nobody is swamped. Further, this acts as an insurance net that things will continue to run smoothly even if your #2 has to take an unexpected day off during your absence.
- Make sure clients know your proxies: There’s no reason to surprise clients with an automated email alerting them that you’re out of the office for a week. Make sure your clients know who they should be in contact with in the event of your absence well ahead of time to keep things running smoothly.
- Contingency plans: Make sure your employees know what to do in the case of an emergency while you’re away, whether an internal emergency or a natural disaster. Even if they can reach you, you’ll be too far removed to do anything about the situation so your staff needs to have an action plan in place and readily available, just in case.
- Set boundaries for yourself: Modern technology can be a blessing or a curse when you’re out of town. On the one hand, it makes sure you’re always in the loop and allows you to do business remotely. On the other, it can feel like a weight if you see an urgent email and feel the need to respond instead of enjoying yourself. Make a point to check emails once a day, say before dinner, so that you know you aren’t missing anything major that would prevent your company from doing business. Make sure your team knows that you will be reading and responding to emails on a limited basis so they know not to bother you unnecessarily.
- Recap afterwards: Once you return, hold a meeting to determine how things went. What could you do better before your next trip to make things run more smoothly? What problems occurred, and who solved them? Knowing who handled tough situations in your absence can give you a good indication of who to look for as a leader now and in the future.
Management positions come with leadership and responsibility, and the tough demands mean you need to take a break every now and then. Implement these strategies before your next vacation so that you can enjoy yourself and your team members can have a chance to solve problems while you’re away. For more management tips, contact us.