Why a holiday should be part of your business plan

I’m at the end of a fabulous family holiday after a year of working through without a break. While I have always tried to squeeze in an annual holiday, this year seemed different … I didn’t just want the holiday, I needed it. After a busy year of growth , taking on new clients, employing new staff , I have realised that the break has had benefits for both me and my business. Rather than being a time of “slackening off”or a down time for my business, it has been one of the most productive, focussed times bringing clarity to the year ahead. I have realised how crucial this time will be for the success of my business which is why  I am now incorporating “holiday planning” into my annual business plans going forward.

Here are some of the reasons why you should also start planning your next holiday:

Time to reflect

My holiday has allowed me the space to think, which is a rare luxury when running a small business. I was able to think about what had happened during the year, what I could learn from it, and what I could do differently, all while riding a gondala up a mountain.  I was able to take deep breaths and at the same time do deep thinking. When you are running day to day, fighting fires, reacting to other people’s needs, this is what is missed and to miss out on time for deep thinking is a mistake.

Step back from the team

I am lucky enough to be supported by a great team who stepped up and held the fort while I was away. I have seen that rather than be a burden to them, this time has allowed them to step up, lean in, take on new tasks and actually shine a light on all the extra things that they are able to do, without my instruction or dare I say interference. They have learned how to do new things, I have learned that they can do new things and so we head into the new year as a much stronger unit…. all because I went away.

Time to reset and plan

Rather than just fall into the new year at the same cracking pace as last, I have been able to stop, look at what it working , accept what is not working, and start again. While this usually happens naturally as the page of the new calendar flips over, my holiday has forced me to draw a line in the sand. I couldn’t (and I wouldn’t want to ) just continue from where I left off. I have had time to think about my next steps and plan how I want the year to flow. I have had time to think and plan for each of my clients and what the next steps are for them.  I certainly haven’t spent all of my holidays thinking about it but I have snuck in pockets of thinking time when there has been little else to do ( riding trains, catching plans or sitting on deckchairs).It is that precious time, where nothing else needs to be done, which is so difficult to find outside of holidays.

Time with family and friends

The most important part of my holiday has been the time spent and memories made with my family ( yes I haven’t been thinking about work all of the time!). We see each other everyday but time spent together on holidays is different. It is deeper, more memorable, more fun and reminds me why I am working so hard in the first place…. To be able to plan more fabulous holidays, to travel to more amazing places with the people I care about the most.

So I’m officially including holiday planning in my business plan, encouraging my team to plan holidays and recommending you do the same. Happy Holidays.

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