How to Take Time Off Without Stressing Out

Dec 2, 2015

Admittedly, it’s a pretty funny time to be writing this post. It’s 9PM on a Tuesday night, and I’m still working like a madwoman trying to catch up on all of the work that piled up while I was traveling for Thanksgiving.

That’s the thing about being a business owner and a one-woman show—there really is no “time off”. There’s nobody back at “the office” that can take care of things in my absence. Plus, if I’m not working, I’m not making money. So, I’ve noticed that the whole vacation/holiday/time off thing has become increasingly more complicated now.

But, hey, what better time to write a post than when I could benefit from my own advice, right? So, today I’m sharing a few tips to help you take some much-needed time off without feeling overwhelmingly guilty or stressed upon your return—because, take it from me, it’s just not fun.



This one should be obvious, but try to get as much done as you can before hitting the road. It’s hard to relax when you feel like you have tons of unfinished tasks and obligations hanging over your head. So, the more you can get done ahead of time, the better!


I’m realistic, so I knew I wouldn’t run away for the holiday without ever touching my computer. But, I also knew that I didn’t want to waste the entire holiday weekend by staying glued to my computer screen.

So, what did I do? I designated specific work times for myself—I let myself work about an hour each day. No, I didn’t accomplish any major projects. But, just having the chance to clean through emails, craft a few responses, and tie up a few loose ends helped me to feel way more organized and on top of things!


Sometimes I take great comfort in just letting all of my clients know that I’m traveling and will be slower to respond than usual. So, setting an out of office response helps to give me at least a little peace of mind.

Do any of my clients care or even expect an immediate response over a holiday weekend? Probably not. But, it’s an expectation of myself that I have a hard time escaping. So, setting up that response helps to ease some of the pressure I place on myself.


Honestly, I think the word “prioritize” appears in almost every list I create. But, it’s been so important to me these past couple days as I’m catching up from the holidays. I consider myself lucky to have a ton to catch up on (after all, it means I actually have work). However, that doesn’t mean that actually completing all of those pesky tasks is stress-free.

How have I been coping? You already know the answer, my friends: effective prioritization. At the start of the day, I jot down all of the tasks that are still in the hopper. Then, I number them according to their due date and chip away accordingly. It not only helps me focus my time on the correct things, but also keeps me from feeling completely overwhelmed.

What tactics do you employ to take time off without ridiculous fallout upon your return? I could use all of the tips I could get—so help a girl out!

Until next time!