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How to Work on Vacation Without Annoying Your Family

Updated on July 12th, 2016

One difficult aspect of running a small business is that it’s hard to turn it off. It’s not easy to just leave on vacation, unplug, and enjoy a drink with a little tiny umbrella in it. However, you can’t stay in your office forever and never take a break. After all, self employed people deserve a little bit of vacation time too, so here are some ways to work while you’re on vacation without annoying your family:

1. Work Ahead

It’s not always possible for business owners to work ahead, but if you provide services to others, like video creation or content creation, you can absolutely work ahead and get the bulk of your work done before you leave. Some people in specific industries who are self employed can even go on vacation without anyone noticing especially if they play it smart and stay on top of their e-mails, which brings me to my next point.

2. Wake Up Earlier Than Everyone Else

If you don’t want to irritate your family by being on your phone too much or checking email too much on vacation, wake up earlier than everyone else and do a little bit of work. Most people relish the chance to sleep in on vacation, so your family might not notice if you wake up an hour earlier and slip away to the next room to make sure all emails have been answered and your employees or assistants back home have all of the instructions they need to keep your business intact.

3. Set Up Auto Responders and Delegate

Auto responders are a great way to respond to emails immediately to let potential clients or customers know that you are replying slower than usual due to being away. You can also delegate important tasks to assistants, and some freelance assistants specialize in helping business owners who go on vacation, even if it’s just monitoring e-mails, forwarding important ones, and making sure things like social media posts are still going out. So, don’t be afraid to delegate because the more you rest, the easier it will be to come back to work refreshed.

4. Only Check On Your Business 1-2x Per Day

It might be hard, but if you’ve done the above steps, you really should only have to check on your business one to two times per day. You can do this early in the morning or do a quick check at lunch just to make sure everything is running smoothly and to answer any pertinent emails.

Ultimately, if you’ve worked ahead, woken up early, set up auto responders, and have your team back home helping you, you should not have to check on your business all day long. Instead, once or twice should do the trick! Thus, it’s entirely possible to enjoy your family vacations and make sure your business runs smoothly while you’re gone. Plus with the tips above, you can do all of this without irritating your family in the process!

Do you typically work when you’re on a vacation?

Catherine Collins Alford

Catherine Collins Alford

Catherine Collins Alford is a nationally recognized author of the book Mom's Got Money, an award-winning freelance writer, and the co-founder of

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