Incommunicado

Are you ever unreachable? As important as it is to be available to your customers, it’s equally important to take some time away.

I’m usually an early-to-bed kind of gal, so I turn my phone to silent when I’m ready to snuggle in for the evening. I tell my customers that they can call me anytime, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to answer my phone at 2 a.m. I do let them know that I’ll be glad to return their call when I wake at 4:10 a.m., if they’d like. Most decline.

Sunday evenings are game night for The Furry Guy and me. At approximately 7 p.m. on Sunday I unplug from the world. The phone is silenced. Emails wait until the next morning. I’m incommunicado.

When The Furry Guy and I get away, we really get away. I don’t work during those times.

It’s important for your family and your own psyche to take a break from business every once in a while. When you do that, change your outgoing voicemail message to let people know you’ll be away from your office (even if your office is a corner of your kitchen table) until a particular date. Set a vacation auto response for your email stating the same.

Let everyone know on what days you’ll be returning calls or emails. It’s a good idea to include a buffer day or two. You know how it is when you return from a vacation. You need at least one day to rest, recuperate, and do laundry. For instance, when I go to our national conference I’ll get home on Thursday evening. However, I don’t tell people I’ll return their calls or emails on Thursday or even on Friday. I let them know I’ll get back with them no later than Monday. That way I have a little breathing room to absorb everything. I can put out any fires, but I can take a little time getting back to most people.

If you’re going to be out of contact for more than a couple of days, you might arrange for someone to handle any emergencies that might pop up. Your immediate upline or a trusted team member would work well for this. Add that information to your phone message and email response. Though, most people will be more than happy to wait until you’re back in your office.

This goes for staycations as well. Even if your getaway is just to the kiddie pool in the back yard, make it a real break from business and busy-ness. Your business will actually be better for it.

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