How to really be on vacation...during your vacation.
If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of vacations. I think everyone should take them! As much as possible! Even short ones! Especially for those of you in the wedding industry, please. Take a vacation.
For a bride, (or any other client, of course!) there’s nothing worse than inquiring to a fantastic wedding vendor only to find they’re uninspired and exhausted. Plus, your family will love the uninterrupted time with you!
Now that I’ve won you over to the idea of actually taking a vacation in the first place, let me share with you my tips on how to actually BE ON VACATION DURING YOUR VACATION!
- USE YOUR AUTORESPONDER:
A little trick that I find infinitely helpful is to set my email autoresponder for the day before I leave and at least a day after I plan on returning to my desk. This helps prep people, and it helps you to avoid any last minute emails while you’re trying to get yourself and your family packed up and out of the house. It also alleviates the anxiety and rush to get every email answered that you missed while you were away. It’s a buffer. I like buffers.
- DON’T CHECK YOUR EMAIL:
This one is important. If at all possible-don’t even check. It’s not worth it. The minute you see one email that you “just need to get back to real quick”, you’ll decide you could get to a few more, then all of a sudden, you’re working and clients know that you’re actually available on your vacation, and now, you’ve taught them that they should keep emailing you.
Because of course, if you respond to them, you’ll get the tug to check your email again, and the vicious cycle of working during vacation will begin.
I 100% understand- there are going to be certain clients that absolutely must be responded to. If you can, pay your assistant, colleague, best friend on earth, someone to keep an eye out for those emails and help manage the expectation of your response. They can login to your email once a day and make sure certain clients get the response they need. I find even a simple, “Hi! This is Mr. Jones’ personal assistant and he is out of the country right now, but he will get to your email just as soon as he returns. I just wanted to send you a special message to let you know your request has been received”. A simple special note like this in addition to your autoresponder always seems to help these situations.
If you really have no one to do this for you or can’t afford the cash, make sure you get in a mental space to quickly check once a day, keep a note like this in your phone to copy & paste to send to the client so they still feel attended to. I really suggest not handling any actual work while you’re away if you can!
- BE PRESENT:
This vacation was paid for with your hard earned cash. Whether you’re going out of the country or visiting your family for the holidays, be in the moment. Don’t waste the valuable time you have there playing on the internet. Keep your social media usage to a minimum-be with the people who are with you in real life, not in iphone land. Sure it’s cool to share a photo or two, but remember there is such a thing as #latergrams, #flashbackfridays, and #throwbackthursdays. Post later. In fact, take a point and shoot camera and leave your phone in the safe.
Pretend it’s 2004.
- HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS’S SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES BEFORE YOU GO:
If you don’t have a social media manager to handle your online things while you’re away, (if you don’t have a social media manager, then you need to contact me anyway), this is something you can have your assistant help with while you’re out or you can just post about how you’ll be out of the office for a week. Either way, handle it before you go and avoid the worry while you’re playing on the beach.
- SET EXPECTATIONS FOR INQUIRIES:
If you have an autoresponder for your inquiries (if you don’t you should!), add a little message letting people know you’re out on vacation and you’ll send pricing & availability as soon as you return. Let them know a date to expect to hear from you.