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Q. When is a holiday not a holiday? A. When you’re running your own business.

Why you need to switch off completely when you go away.

A survey back in 2015 revealed that 76% of business owners sacrifice their holidays to keep their businesses and projects running smoothly over the summer months. The ones that do make it to the comfort of a sun lounger often have their phones and laptops with them. Advances in technology now enable us to be connected and available at all times, and in many different places. Isn’t it great that you can continue to run your business projects from a different continent whilst wearing a sarong?

Well, yes, and no. Rest and downtime is essential for all of us – business owners too! It’s not just the relaxation that matters either – taking a break from the intense and all consuming work of running a business allows time for reflection and brings perspective and clarity. Having a real rest and switching off from projects can aid productivity in the long run as when you return you are refreshed and reinvigorated, eager to get back into the thick of it, refocused and ready to give it your all. If you’ve paid a lot for a holiday, and you’re with family or friends, working while you’re away can spoil everyone else’s break too – not just your own! Holidays should be fun and relaxing - so what’s stopping you?

In order to make that valuable downtime work for you, the key is careful planning and preparation. Here are some tips to help you get the break you deserve.

  • Plan your holiday dates well in advance.

  • Advise your clients, staff and other stakeholders in plenty of time before your absence.

  • Don’t schedule any major project deliverables right before, during or immediately after your absence.

  • Use automation systems for as many key admin tasks as possible - for example email response and social media/ blog schedulers.

  • Identify any foreseeable problems that might arise when you’re away and put in procedures to deal with them. Advise your teams of the circumstances you can be contacted for an emergency call or text.

  • Appoint another team member to act on your behalf in your absence – brief them thoroughly well in advance and make sure they have access to all necessary files, contacts and information.

  • If you don’t want to overload other team members, hire temporary cover. If you have ongoing projects that can’t be delayed, bring in a contract Project Manager. They are used to on-boarding quickly, will conduct a thorough hand over and hand back of work, and will keep your projects ticking along smoothly.

  • Last, but not least, switch off, relax, and enjoy!

Do you find it hard to switch off on holiday? What other preparations could help?

Project Management On Demand supplies skilled Project Management professionals to digital businesses when they are needed most. Working remotely or in-house, our PMs look after your key deliverables, mitigate issues, and keep your critical path on-track, and your clients happy.

For more information on our services, visit

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