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You need to communicate with your customers when you get back as well, especially when email replies have been delayed for a few days due to your absence. 'People are understanding if you offer a reason for long wait,' says Terri Seymour of < http://www.websuccesscentral.com >
2. GIVE YOURSELF A WINDOW TO CATCH UP
'I've always thought that I should extend my vacation by two days when telling others,' says Roberta Stubblefield of The Mom Team < http://RobertaS.themomteam.com > 'That way I can use two days to catch up on everything with answering machine on, then be ready to start out fresh.'
3. CONSIDER HIRING A BACKUP
A virtual assistant could be answer to your vacation prayers, notes Kristie Lemauga, who happens to be VA at < http://www.kksadministrative.com > Kristie suggests that by forwarding your email to a live person instead of using an autoresponder, your customers can have their needs handled in a personal manner. Kristie says that A VA can also 'process any orders, info requests, data entry, and unsubscribes while you are away, take phone calls for your business, prepare your calender for your return, and assist with administrative tasks ... so you can catch up in areas that require your personal attention.'
4. MAKE A PLAYDATE FOR THE KIDS
As much as we love our children (and for many of us, they are reason we are working at home in first place), they can also be a distraction. You'll catch up faster upon your return if they're having fun outside house. Terri Seymour arranges an overnight visit with their grandparents, but taking them to a playdate at home of a trusted friend may give you all time you need to focus on your work. (Just be sure your friend knows you'll return favor soon!)
5. ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!
Remember that you need your break! Bake those cookies - enjoy parties - build a snowman with your kids and warm yourselves up next to a roaring fire. As Angela Strosnider says, 'Working at home is a 24/7 job just like any other when you add a house and family. Take a personal time-out with you and your loved ones, and you will feel much better about working so much later.'
Donna Schwartz Mills is the work-at-home parent behind the ParentPreneur Club: http://parentpreneurclub.com/cgi-bin/art/vc Donna also edits NOBOSS Online, the newsletter for home-based entrepreneurs doing business on the web. To subscribe, send a blank email to: email@example.com.