Do You Need a Vacation From Summer?

With Labour Day behind us, many of us now change our focus. School is back in for some families, cottages and pools are afterthoughts and our white pants are neatly tucked away until whenever it is that we are permitted to wear them again.

Along with these seasonal changes, we also tend to re-focus on our business and what we need to accomplish before the calendar changes to next year. With any luck (or more accurately with some on purpose planning) you are reinvigorated and rested after the summer. Were you able to get away? Take some time away from the office? How long did you go without checking you emails, even when you were “out of the office”?

These answers may be telling you something about your business and its people structure. Do you have someone at your office who can put out fires while you are away? On another level, can progress still be made in your absence? If the answer is no, try to take a step back and contrast this comfort of job security with the long term impact of your business being reliant on you. This may be by design or it may be something that you are looking to address.

Consistent with our approach in our client work, the exercise here is reflective at first with a forward looking goal. Just as your financial statements are an important indication of recent performance, the value in understanding them lies in what the future holds for your business. In keeping with this theme, take a few minutes and remember your summer. What sticks out to you? What did you accomplish in your business and what did you accomplish with your family? Were you able to allocate the time and attention to each that you hoped and planned to?

Taking time away from your business to unwind can create more stress. The pressure from family and friends to enjoy the weather and time away from the office can have a negative impact on our business, our relationships and ultimately our performance in all areas of our life.

As you are evaluating what has just happened, take stock of what could have happened differently if things did not go as planned. Are more people needed? Do you have the people on staff but maybe not the skills? You will need to understand the gaps and then plan on how you can address these matters. Can you begin to train and delegate more now so that future time away from your work will be as you want it to be?

Hopefully your summer season went exactly as you wanted it to and you were able to find the appropriate balance between everything that competes for your attention. If that is the case, the review exercise is just as important to ensure that things remain this way. If they did not happen because of luck, you will need to be sure that they do not change as well. Like most developments and achievements, this will not happen by accident.

The importance of evaluating, planning and ultimately executing on what needs to be done so that you are able to achieve your vision cannot be overstated. It must be done intentionally if you wish to have next summer season, and really every day, be what you want it to be. Your white pants will be waiting for you next year – planning now will help you to wear them when you choose.