With the summer season starting in a few weeks, many financial advisors are turning their thoughts and attention to planning a little rest and relaxation away from their business. Taking a vacation from your vocation is one of the best ways to put balance back into your life. However, it is very easy to let your enjoyable vacation plans become undue stressors. By following some simple rules before, during and after your holiday you CAN take a stress free break from your business and bring balance back to both your personal and professional lives.
Before your vacation, get your business in order by completing these steps. First, be sure to finish all time sensitive paperwork as the last thing you want to happen is to arrive back at the office only to realize that you didn’t fill out an account transfer form before you left. Second, keep your assistant and client-base informed of your getaway plans well ahead of time so that no one is surprised when you do not return a call. One example of this is to have an “oh, by the way” statement written out sitting right next to your phone at least two weeks before you leave. During any client phone calls, end the call with a simple reminder such as, “Oh by the way, I will be out of the office on vacation from the 1st to the 7th of next month but my assistant can answer any paperwork questions and if you have any investment question regarding your account, please ask my assistant to put you through to my colleague ____.” Third, find a peer in the office who is licensed and willing to handle any of your client’s investment concerns during your absence. I highly recommend that you do the same for them as well when they are gone or need to be away from the office.
During your vacation, it is important to leave your business at the office. That means, do not take work with you, do not call the office and turn off access to work email on your phone! You owe it to yourself to have some time to step away from your business. Besides, if you have done your pre-vacation “homework” everything should be covered and ultimately your assistant will know how to find you in case of an emergency and chances are slim that you will get that type of call.
After your vacation, give yourself a day to come home, unpack and unwind. That means do not login on a Sunday night and attempt to sort through 500 emails! Instead, come in fresh on Monday morning with a time blocked for the day to regroup and get organized. The first order of business is to thank those who minded the store. Second, you may want to keep your phone on “Do Not Disturb” for the first two or three hours so that you can prioritize your emails and voice mails. This way you are being pro-active instead of re-active. Third, start contacting those clients who are first on the list. Most importantly remember to ease back into the flow of your business rather than rushing in trying to accomplish a week’s work in one day. The purpose of the vacation from your vocation was to rebalance yourself and you don’t want to tip the scales unfavorably the first day back.