I’m back from a whirlwind trip the the USA. It was a working holiday and family holiday all rolled into one crazy adventure.
As a Miss Links fan, you’re probably working in the corporate world. I’m guessing you’re interested in how others manage their workload while on holidays. As for me, I’m always fascinated with how others (especially working mothers) get things done when they’re travelling for work or pleasure. Or both, as was in my case.
So, today I’m sharing how I got through this trip and managed my time. And I hope you find it helpful.
The working holiday part
My trip was for a big brand client of my business LDB Financial. You have definitely heard of this brand—it’s everywhere. This international convention was huge. Unbelievably huge. It was held in Orlando, Florida and 18,000 people from around the world attended.
Side note: corporate entertainment taken to the max
I won’t go into the full details of the event, but I simply must mention the closing ceremony—it was like the Olympics. The entertainment was:
- Pitbull – opening ceremony
- Katy Perry
- Steve Tyler of Aerosmith
- David Foster (singer/songwriter, he’s written a bazillion songs – lots of 80s and 90s power ballads)
- Peter Cetera (from the band Chicago)
- Chloe Kohanksi (winner of The Voice America, she was amazing)
Plus, all delegates enjoyed exclusive use of Universal Studios theme park for a night, where everything was free. It’s gonna be hard to go back to the queues, crowds and costs at the Queensland theme parks after this experience!
The family holiday part
Luckily, the convention was run by a family-friendly brand, so we were able to attend with our kids. The exhibiting suppliers provide plenty of children’s entertainment. Before the convention, we added a trip to San Francisco and New York City with our girls which are wonderful places to explore.
This was the first trip I’ve taken in 20 years without a laptop. It was very liberating. The most important thing for me was letting go of responsibility for my two businesses and trusting those I’d put in charge to do their jobs. As a perfectionist and sometimes micromanager, this is easier said than done. I’ve learned in the past that my meddling doesn’t empower people to make the best decisions. Showing confidence and faith in my team brings out their best work. So, I appointed Natalie, our qualified CA, as acting director, briefed her thoroughly beforehand and trusted her to get on with the job. That made everything much easier for both of us.
How I stayed organised
I did keep in touch with the office and made myself available if needed. When I know what’s going on, I find that I enjoy myself on holidays more. (Otherwise, I worry all day.) Due to the time difference, I briefly checked emails—typically twice a day. As my children are primary school age, they need that rest time, so after a day of walking around New York, they were ready to crash in front of cartoons, giving me time to answer a few emails.
I chose not to use project management tools like Basecamp or Asana. It was easier for me to manage everything with DropBox, Messenger and emails.
To recap, my top tips for surviving a working holiday with family are:
- prepare and brief your team in advance
- appoint an acting director and empower them to make decisions
- make yourself available for a short time so your team get answers to questions
- take advantage of kids’ downtime to jump on email
- outside of that allocated time, switch off completely and focus on your family
- remember that holidays are a great time to relax and recharge and they make you a better person and better manager
In summary, I hope my experience helps you get the most out of your next holiday!