If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you’re going to need to take an extended vacation at some point. However, one of the biggest problems people face on vacation is they can’t detach from work. There are many things to think about every day like website traffic, sales, managing your employees, your marketing campaigns, and so much more. It’s almost impossible to step away from the office without all of these thoughts racing through your mind. 

Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. We all need to take a stress-free vacation at some point. Preparation and planning are the key factors that will determine whether you’ll be able to relax on the beach or fret in your hotel room. Here’s how you can start planning for a break from work before you leave the office. 

Put Your Aces in their Places 

The first thing you should do is decide where to put your skilled employees while you’re away. The phrase “put your aces in their places” is used by management in various industries and refers to staff placement. 

Your top employees — aces — should be placed where they thrive. When you keep your talented team in important positions, you help ensure that the job will get done while you’re away. It’s much easier to unwind when you know that all of the vital areas of your business have someone passionate and talented, leading the rest of the team.

Automate When Possible

There are many things that we do every day that can be managed through automation. Before you take an extended leave from work, consider setting up these safeguards as a way to continue engaging with consumers, even if you’re not available. 

For example, you can schedule and automate your social media accounts to schedule posts for weeks, or even months in advance. Applications like Buffer allow you to join all of your social media accounts on one site and create updates to go out at predetermined times. 

Customer service is another major concern for business owners on vacation, especially those without a support team. If you have a small business and help customers on an individual basis, you could benefit from adding chatbots to your website. Chatbots can be programmed to answer important questions or concerns customers may have while you’re away. 

Request a Weekly Roundup 

At this point, your top employees are where they need to be, and your social media/customer service lines are covered well before you leave. All of that sounds great, but what about your sales numbers, traffic, and internal projects? You’re going to want to know important details about events that happen throughout the week. 

If this is a concern for you, consider scheduling a weekly roundup meeting with your second-in-command. They will handle the daily tasks and keep track of important figures. At the end of the week, have an hour meeting via video chat about events and statistics for the week. An hour break from your vacation is well worth the peace of mind. 

Learn to Let Go  

Finally, you have to learn to let go. The idea of taking a vacation when you’re a business owner seems overwhelming at first, but it’s something everyone should do at least twice a year. You need a break to rest your body and mind so you can continue being productive and successful. 

The whole point of taking time off is to relax and enjoy life, not to feel more stressed than if you were your office. You’ll find that it’s easier to detach from work when you take the time to plan ahead. Small changes to the position of your staff, some minor automation, and a weekly meeting can result in a happier and more enjoyable vacation.