How to Get Work Done on Vacation (and Still Have Fun)

When you own your own business, it seems there’s never a good chance to get away. If you work from home, it can make it even more difficult. But you can do it! There are plenty of ways to take a vacation, squeeze in some work, and not have everything fall apart while you’re gone. You can still manage to get some work done AND have a fun vacation.

Plan Ahead

Think about a couple of projects to pay attention to while on vacation, and what you can let go until you get back. There are probably some things that can wait, but some you’ll feel better about working on even when you are gone. Be prepared to work on those things—have notes and material ready and accessible so you don’t waste time when you do get to them.

Set Aside Work Time

Whether it’s a day or afternoon, or an hour or two every morning, sometimes you have to work even while on vacation. It’s best if you and the others you’re with know when you’ll be working so there are no surprises. You don’t want your husband to plan a romantic excursion and then have to tell him you have a call you can’t miss.

Try to schedule for times that work for your vacation. Maybe it’s while the kids are swimming at the pool or napping, or an hour or two in the morning before the others wake up. Just work it in your schedule without missing too much fun!

When You Are Working – Work!

It’s hard to have a conference call on a ski lift or while having a cocktail at a poolside bar. That’s why it’s so important to set aside a bit of time to work if you have to. And during that time—work! Remove yourself from the vacation and focus on work. An hour or so of focused time will be much better than an afternoon spent trying to get work done while your kids are urging you to play and put your phone down. Focus and then play!

Let Clients Know You’re Out of Office

Before you leave for vacation, get things in order. Set up that “out of office” email and leave a message on your voicemail. That way you can attend to things that you need to, but you won’t have clients clamoring for your attention when you can’t give it to them. You can reply in an emergency, but they won’t expect an answer or response as quickly.

Check in…But Not Obsessively

Check your voicemail and email so you’re not surprised when you return from vacation. If there’s something urgent, respond. But don’t check obsessively; remember, you are on vacation, and things are set up so your clients know.

Everyone needs a few days away here and there. It’s good for the mind, the soul, and the body. The key is to enjoy your vacation, but be a responsible business owner at the same time. Don’t let things pile up; tend to urgent situations and focus when you’re working. But also, enjoy your vacation! Have fun and remember—for this week or few days, vacation comes first!


Heather Legg is a blogger who writes on small businesses, positive outlooks, and travel and Waikiki hotels.

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