In theory, summer is an ideal time for CEOs and business owners to take a break, catch some rays, and decompress, but the reality of attaining that goal is almost always impossible. Executives and business owners have 1,000 different jobs that pull them into endless directions, and even if they are caught up on their to do lists, there would still be a bottomless inventory of tasks that can never be fully completed.
Here is a simple four-step approach that allows CEOs and entrepreneurs to effectively claim the summer vacations that they all deserve. The result of this approach is executives and entrepreneurs who are happier, more relaxed, and ultimately more productive than they would have been if they had kept their blinders on and ground it out at work through July and August.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Figure out your 20%.
When applied in a business setting, the Pareto Principle posits that 20% of your efforts will yield 80% of your results. Figuring out your 20% will help you to maximize your productivity and to recognize which of your daily tasks deliver the greatest return on investment. Once these crucial low touch, high profit, bottom line-affecting actions are specified, you can then strategically adjust your time/schedule to focus on them.
2. Identify andleverage strategic partners.
Strategic partners can expand your reach, increase your credibility, enhance your product/service offerings, and collaborate on the creation of content for your social channels. By identifying these partners and leveraging your relationships with them (which definitely comprise your 20%), you’ll be positioned to produce more revenue in less time. In some circumstances, your partners can even keep an eye on your projects while you take some time off.
3. Delegate your 80%.
While the on time and competent execution of your organization’s 80% is also essential to your company’s success, the responsibility of handling those details and deliverables should be assignable to your team, or outsourced to trusted service providers. Think of the 80% as oiling the machine of your company: it’s necessary that it’s done and done correctly, but you don’t need to be the person who actually does it. While you may be used to tackling or being involved in the 80% yourself, you need to relinquish control, empower people, and create productivity milestones so you can ensure that everything that needs to be achieved is being achieved when it needs to be achieved.
4. Plan ahead.
Now that you’ve established your 20%, figured out your strategic partners, and assigned the 80% (or at least a lot of it) to others, you can now lock in your vacation dates. Be sure to get everything on your calendar and shared with your team so they know what’s expected of them and when. In terms of timing, the last two weeks of August are primetime for an escape, since – in most industries – productivity is at a lull in anticipation of Labor Day. Another bonus of pre-planning for an end-of-August getaway is that you can set up your key fourth quarter activities way in advance. This will allow you to hit the ground running when you’re back in the office after your fun in the sun.
The goal of enjoying a summer vacation isn’t unattainable, but it takes some readjustment of how you approach your workload, interact with your team members, and set up your calendar in order to make it happen. With some smart tweaks, catching rays and enjoying a frosty drink at the pool, lake, or beach is absolutely within reach.
About the Author
Donna Miller is the award-winning founder of C3 Workplace, northern New Jersey’s largest network of independently owned co-working spaces.
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