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6 tips to help you take a much-needed vacation

May 15, 2023

Vacation can be a real puzzle for entrepreneurs, but taking some time to unwind has a lot of benefits. Read on for 6 tips from Dominique Duguay, a senior employee experience advisor at Desjardins.

1. Plan ahead

Let’s face it: Entrepreneurs are busy people. Whether you’re rolling out a new strategy or closing a big sale, there’s always an excuse to put off vacation. But it’s important to set aside some time to relax and recharge. To prepare for your departure, make sure to tell your colleagues and clients when you’ll be away well in advance and if possible, choose a time when your business is less busy.

2. Delegate

Identify which of your employees can fill in for you while you’re gone. A few days before you leave, have a meeting with your team to review priorities and answer questions. That way, you can make sure they feel comfortable with their tasks and know where to focus their energy, “so you can leave with peace of mind,” says Dominique Duguay.

3. Unplug

It can be hard to take your mind off work during vacation. Try to shut down your computer and put it away for 2 or 3 weeks. Turn off notifications for work programs on your mobile devices so you can really unplug. If that’s not possible—or if it stresses you out more—try scheduling specific times during your vacation to check your emails and messages so you can keep an eye on any emergencies. Hopefully they can wait till you return!

4. Enjoy the moment

According to Dominique Duguay, vacation is a chance to slow down, take care of yourself and enjoy quality time with your friends and family. To decompress to the max, try a vacation within a vacation: plan activities or short trips like going fishing or hunting, or exploring your province.

5. Ease back into work

When you get back to work, set aside some time in your calendar to work on your own. Use the time to get up to speed on your files, answer emails and handle any surprises that popped up while you were away. Avoid getting caught up in meetings right away if you can. It will make your return to work much smoother!

6. Do what works for you

There’s no magic formula—everyone’s ideal vacation will look a little different. The goal is to come back to the office well-rested and full of energy. Taking some time away often helps business owners get some perspective. “I see lots of people come back from vacation overflowing with energy and ideas,” says Dominique Duguay. “Vacations are often a springboard to reaching new heights!”