In an ideal world, we would go on vacation, leave the laptop at home and never give business another thought. Unfortunately, we don’t live in the ideal world. For most business owners, going on vacation means having to tote the laptop, iPad or other digital device. However, just because you bring it, doesn’t mean you have to have it attached to your hip. Here are some tips that might help.
Choose Your Device
The important thing is to have the device that works best for you. Laptops can be large, but smaller devices like netbooks, iPads or other tablets may not have the full functionality that you’re looking for. On the other hand, using a smaller device might make it easier for you to get less distracted by work and simply do what you need to do and get offline.
Accessing Your Documents
If you don’t bring your usual computer, you can still have easy access to the documents you need. You can use a popular service like Dropbox.com, but you will have to load the files you need ahead of time. Using an automated backup service like Mozy or SugarSync ensures that you can access ALL of your computer files, even the ones you didn’t think you’d need. Both services also include mobile apps for a variety of platforms, so you can access your stuff from a variety of types of devices.
Do Work Ahead of Time
When you know you’re going to be going away, get super focused and get a lot of your work done ahead of time. There’s nothing quite as motivating as knowing that you’ll be going on a fun vacation when all the work is finished. You can pre-write emails, blog posts, product promotions and get a lot of your work done ahead of time.
Plan Your Device Time
Just like when you’re at home, you should plan your work time while you’re away. Sure, it’s not always possible to know what will be happening every moment of your vacation, but the better you can set your work schedule, the more likely you won’t let work time take over your vacation. If mornings are most convenient, set aside an hour or two in the mornings to get things done.
Get Help with Communication and Customer Support
Having to worry about customer support or answering emails can be the kiss of death to just about any vacation. Hire a virtual assistant (VA) or someone to take care of the daily communication, so you can relax and only work on things that are absolutely necessary.
Plan Your Wifi
Wifi is available in many places, but it’s not everywhere. Find out which destinations will have wifi available to you or consider purchasing a wireless card through your cell phone provider, which can make it easier to get connected wherever you can get a cell phone service. Or many mobile phones can be toggled with your computer (either through USB or Bluetooth) and you can use your phone’s connection on your work device.
Keeping the balance between work and fun can be challenging, but if you plan ahead, things will be much easier. One thing I mentioned in this post was hiring a virtual assistant or someone to help you with correspondence. In my next post, we’ll be talking about outsourcing, even if you’re on a budget.