There’s an old saying that nothing gets done between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Sure, that may be true for some people, but when you’ve got a business to run, that’s not the case. For some people December 25 is no different than October 25. It might as well be just another day at the office.

But no matter what you celebrate, the holiday season is a great time to catch up with family and simply unplug. The key to truly unplugging this holiday season? Preparation.

Be Proactive and Be Prepared

Taking time off is never easy. Just because you’re off the clock, it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. Have you ever taken a week off to recharge only to come back burnt out by your inbox? If you’re a business owner, the answer is probably yes. But a vacation should be just that, a vacation.

You know when you’re taking time off, which means you can be proactive. If you work with other employees on a daily basis, make sure they are aware you’ll have time off coming up sometime soon. If you are in a role that requires regular communication with clients, make sure they are aware you’ll be out, too. Make sure they know what to do if something comes up when you’re out of the office.

Develop a Back-Up Plan and a Point of Contact

Delegating can be hard for someone who is in the weeds on a daily basis, but it’s impossible to do everything yourself. Trust the team around you and communicate what they need to know. Inform them of what may come up while you’re out and how to respond. In all reality, you won’t be out for weeks. You might be out for only five days. There aren’t many instances, especially during the holidays, where a client or customer will need your immediate attention. However, in the event they do, make sure your designated point of contact knows exactly where to find everything they need to handle situations as they come up.

Turn Your Notifications Off

If you’re like a lot of hardworking managers, you’re probably available to your team 24 hours a day. However, when you’re unplugged, that should only be by phone. Turn off your email notifications, your Slack notifications, or any other notifications you normally get on your phone. It can be nerve-racking at first, but your family will thank you.

Turning off your notifications eliminates the following conversation:

“Hey dad, can you help me put together this new toy.”

“Sure honey, just give me five minutes to finish answering this email.”

Twenty minutes go by. You now have your laptop open and your daughter comes in again, asks the same question and you give the same answer. Eventually, she gets upset, and now your spouse is mad at you, too. Nobody likes to argue during the holidays, so do your best to prevent these situations

It’s okay to unplug. Spend time with your family. Trust your team and come back feeling refreshed and ready to roll.

P.S. If Santa didn’t give you that new website you were hoping for, give us a call. Like Santa, we have workshop full of dedicated elves ready to build and tinker so that all of your holiday dreams come true!

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