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How to Fully Switch-off From Work on Holiday

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As any hard-working business person knows, your holiday is the most precious time of the year. And you want/need to enjoy it to the absolute fullest. Savouring every second of vital rest and relaxation.

However, a very common problem that so many of us have is switching off from work when we’re away, keeping our mind out of the office and focused on fun, sun and freedom.

It’s all too easy to leave a long list of unfinished tasks behind, or ruminate about other people handling your responsibilities in your absence. These concerns can constantly play on your mind, making it impossible to relax, even at the most idyllic locations. 

This is not what you want on holiday. 

Taking a real break which allows you to completely detach from all the stresses of work or running a business is imperative to unwind and regather your mental and physical energy. As well to spend valuable time with family and friends.

You need to get all of the loose-ends tied up and sorted, with plans in place for your return. So you can truly keep your mind off your business and solely on maximising pleasure on a well-earned vacation.

Far too many people neglect how important it is to prepare things and everything in order before you go away. They may think of pre-holiday planning as just another stressful task. But investing some time to get things ready prior to departure, really is the only way to leave your business ship-shape, and you free to indulge in leisurely delights.

Even in the calmest of meditation retreats, those nagging unsent invoices will always find a way to disturb your Zen.

They say a holiday starts with the journey. Well we’ve found that the following practical steps to organise business and personal obligations really do work, and have helped us enjoy every second of time away. From the first taste of freedom with a drink at the airport bar, to the last night walking barefoot on the beach.

  1. Write Lists

Firstly, write down a full list of every single task, even the most minor, that you currently have in your diary or schedule for the period of your holiday, and the week you return.

If you’re not a regular list writer, you’ll be amazed at how stress-relieving just having tasks you need to remember written down can be. Knowing that you can refer to it whenever necessary.

Secondly, prioritise this list in a descending order with the most important and pressing tasks, according to when they need to be completed, at the top.

This gives you a much better idea of your workload and exactly what needs to be done.

Now you can categorise this list into 2 or 3 sections, depending if you have staff members who will take on these tasks on your behalf. Use these sub-headers:

Before | Away | Return 

If you're not handing over tasks to anyone, just use Before and Return.

Add the tasks into the relevant sections according to when they need to be done, keeping the prioritised order with the most pressing at the top. 

before-away-return list

This creates a clear view of your accountable tasks and a timeline for their completion. This is also useful to share with stakeholders and colleagues as they can appreciate and understand your workflow.

  1. Make a Handover Document

If you’re leaving someone else in charge or having another team member take on your accountabilities then you need to be able to rest assured that they can cope. And won’t be pestering you with questions on the sunbed.

Give them a list of prioritised tasks they need to fulfil with instructions as necessary. You should include as much information they might need like relevant contacts, links to resources and contingency plans or alternative actions they can follow if they need to improvise. 

Get them to read and ask them if they are clear and have everything they need. So there’s hopefully no reason or excuse to bother you.

  1. Plan your packing

One thing you certainly don’t want to be doing right before you jump on a flight is frantically running around looking for snorkelling gear that’s ‘’somewhere in the loft’’.

So again, make a list of all the things you need to pack and need to obtain for your holiday. And tick them off as you pack them. You can also categorise this into Electronics, Cosmetics, Clothes, Need to buy etc. Which simplifies the list and gives you a clearer mental picture of what you need, making packing vastly less overwhelming.

Although it sounds so obvious, packing whatever you can in advance will save a lot of time. Enabling you to get into holiday-mode much quicker.

  1. Plan your activities 

Yes, the whole point of taking a holiday is to free your spirit and spend time doing whatever takes your fancy, whenever you feel like it. That's precisely why you don’t want to waste a single moment trying to research attractions to see, beaches to explore, excursions to take or restaurants to eat at when you're there.

By making a basic itinerary of ideas about what you want to see and do, and how these activities will fit into your timeframe in advance, can remove the stress of last-minute decision making. 

And researching and planning the logistics involved with buying tickets, arranging transport, accessing services and amenities, as well as knowing the dates and locations of events, can save you a lot of time. Which is better used preparing to leave projects at work in a stable state.

  1. Use Crunch : )

At Crunch we love a get-away just as much as you, and our clients tell us all the time how our software makes it easy for them stay up to date and manage their accounts on the move. 

One of their biggest concerns is managing business finances whilst away. With our software and our recently launched awesome new App you can perform all your essential accounting tasks directly from the pool if you need to. So there'll be no missed invoices or unpaid tax bills when you get back. 

You can check out our online accounting packages and all their awesome features here, to see the time and cost saving benefits they offer.

Also right now our add-on, Crunch Perks, is offering access to some awesome savings and rewards. Which include discounts and deals on holidays, hotels and car hire

In the 21st century the chance to recharge on a break from work is more essential than it’s ever been for busy small business owners and self-employed individuals. Even if you do what you love we all need to take a  pause and reconnect, by detaching from our business now and again.

By far the best way to make this as rewarding as possible is to take direct actions that give you the piece-of-mind that work responsibilities are taken care of. So you give 100% of your attention to the crucial project of purely chilling out.

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James Waller
Content Specialist
Updated on
June 22, 2023

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