It’s pretty much a given that most people like to take vacations. They give people a break from everyday routines at home as well as needed rest and relaxation from work. What’s more, vacations offer stress relief and improved mental and physical well-being.
But there is a downside to vacations for the self-employed. That’s especially true for those who do not have any employees to help out while they are away traveling.
Some self-employed people, such as virtual assistants, are able to take their work with them. This allows them to work while they are away so they don’t lose clients or income.
Unfortunately, that takes away from the whole idea of vacationing. So, how do virtual assistants keep work from taking over their vacation?
The self-employed virtual assistant, or VA, doesn’t get paid when they aren’t working. This can lead many VA’s to forgo taking a vacation altogether. Another option many choose is to begrudgingly take their work along like an unwanted, tag-along family member.
But virtual assistants can keep work from taking over their vacation if they plan for it in advance. They should look for tasks to complete ahead of time so they can get them done early.
Tools such as Calendar.com can help them keep track of work that must be finished before their departure. This provides free time while they are gone so they don’t have to work while vacationing.
Obviously there may still be some catch up work to do once the VA returns from their travels. But at least they will get somewhat of a break and maybe have a little fun too.
Another way virtual assistants can keep work from taking over their vacation is to automate. The more tasks they can automate, the more time they save. Automation makes good business sense for those tasks that can’t be finished ahead of time.
For example, not all social media posting can be completed ahead of time unless it is automated. But automated budgeting and invoicing can help as well.
Virtual assistants should utilize as many automation tools as possible. This approach will help them both work more efficiently each day and prepare for time off.
If virtual assistants want to keep work from taking over their vacation they should prepare their clients in advance. They should communicate with their clients at least a few weeks early in writing.
Also, they should provide the dates they will be either less available or unavailable. In addition, depending on the client’s needs it may be necessary to touch base periodically while gone. However, the VA should make it clear that while vacationing they will be unavailable to do any substantial work.
Sub-Contract with Other VA’s
An additional way virtual assistants can keep work from taking over their vacation is to sub-contract. Most VA’s know other VA’s who are doing similar work for other clients. This is advantageous when vacation time is needed.
Of course, there are drawbacks to sub-contracting. One is that the VA will have to pay the sub-contractor. This will lower the VA’s income but it also allows for a real vacation.
Training is another drawback. It may be needed in order to get the sub-contracted VA up to speed on daily tasks. Nevertheless, forgoing training could result in revenue losses from sub-contracting errors.
Clearly everyone needs a vacation now and then including virtual assistants. Even though it isn’t easy, there are ways virtual assistants can keep work from taking over their vacation.
What other tactics could virtual assistants use to keep work from taking over their vacation?