Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it…

Thinking back to my childhood, before mobile phones, the internet (in broad terms) and email. It’s the family holidays I remember most vividly. Long sunny days on the beach with my parents in the South of France, Meals in funny little family run restaurants and my mum and dad having good natured arguments about my dad’s frankly awful map reading skills. What I don’t remember is my mum and dad having to check email, answering calls from clients and checking their social media.

As I write this I’m sitting on a terrace outside the villa I’ve rented with my wife in the South of Portugal. It’s just gone 08.00 and wife, although she’d hate me to say it, is snoring soundly in the next room. The reason I’m not snoring beside her is that I got up early to check in on work, as I have every day so far. I think I’ve found a healthy medium, I run a small business based in Hertfordshire and to a certain extent I’m a one man band. I have people that work for me as and when I need them, but ultimately the buck stops with me and as such my clients need to be able to reach me. So I’ve devised a plan of action. I check email in the evenings before dinner – I then make a note of anything that needs to be actioned and then I get up early the next day and take care of it before 09.30. I don’t answer my phone to clients whilst I’m away, I explained to my clients that I was going away and would be limited in my ability to answer calls and the best way forward would be to email me.

There’s usually something that happens, this year a client booked last minute space and I ended up designing adverts in the BA Lounge at Heathrow. But the most important thing is that I strictly adhere to the program of not checking my phone every five minutes, answering pointless emails and checking what people have written on my clients social media pages. I’ll be switching my computer off in a few minutes, putting my phone on silent and going out for some breakfast. I have no idea what I’ll be doing for the rest of the day, it’ll probably involve a long lunch somewhere near a beach and I’ll probably get a little more sunburnt and my wife will get frustrated about my inherited map reading skills. The important thing is that I know what it wont entail and what I’ve come to realise is that that’s ok, the world doesn’t end if you don’t answer an email instantly.

As small business owners we all work hard, going on holiday should be just that, a holiday.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

― Omar Khayyam