Taking time off around the holidays can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are leading a business unit without the right foundation in place. The concept of “time off” has changed as technology has advanced. We like to categorize it into 3 levels and associate it with parenting.
#1 – On
This means you are fully in charge of watching your 1-year-old and have a pulse of everything that is going on around them. Do they get too close to the edge of the coffee table? You need to step in. Time for a meal or a bath? You are in charge.
#2 – Off but can be reached via phone
This is the standard type of “off” for business leaders today. You can review or check in on any big ticket items from the phone but don’t need to jump on any calls or access a computer unless there is an emergency. For childcare, this is when you leave your child with the neighborhood babysitter for the night to enjoy a date night. You text the babysitter for status updates to confirm all is well and if an emergency happens, you are accessible and can handle it promptly.
#3 – Off the grid
This is the rare time that you decide to take that much-needed trip to a different continent or into the wild with no internet connection. The type of trip where you become completely disconnected from the phone or internet. In this case, you would entrust your child’s care with somebody you trust. If an emergency happens, this individual knows exactly what to do.
Category #3 is a much different animal than category #1 or #2 and needs its own piece that we’ll revisit another time. For now, let’s look at #1 and #2.
To assess how comfortable you are with taking time off during the last week of the year, the first question to ask is, “Do you have a set criteria for what needs to get done before the end of the year?” If not, make a list.
Once this list is defined, it is time to assess how the work will be accomplished.
- Put the time and effort into getting it done before your vacation days.
- Delegate it out to corresponding team members.
- Automate it to be completed during the holiday time period.