The time came this summer when my family was planning to spend a week away from home and enjoy the peace and quiet of the northern woods of Wisconsin. It has been a while since I’ve taken some solid time away from working — I would say it’s been about 18 months since I’d taken more than a three-day weekend off of work — but I knew I needed to do it.

But my firm is still in its infancy. How do solo advisers get away from it all?

I’ve read a number of articles about how other solos manage vacations. Most say they check in with phone and email once a day, and spend time each day working. I admit, this does not sound appealing. My goal is to cut myself off for a small period of time, so I can come back completely recharged and relaxed.

Here are the steps I took — in addition to filing a couple of these blog posts in advance, of course — to ensure that I am able to shut down.

1. Emailed or called clients to tell them of my upcoming unavailability and ask whether anything might come up during that time that would require my assistance. Anything I could help with in advance, I did — but anything that happens in the meantime can be addressed when I return.

2. Left thoughtful out-of-office messages. Everyone needs time away. I prefer not to be disturbed on my vacation with any business at all — it’s family time. But I phrased it tastefully in my out-of-office notifications. I also hope people will respect my decision to be unavailable.

3. Rationed my electronic device use. My phone and computer are synced, so I get work emails on my phone. That works great when I’m at home, but it means I need to turn off my phone during vacation. I need to do this cold-turkey for it to work properly. 

Grant blogs for Financial Planning, a SourceMedia publication.

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