By John Uppendahl, Parallels

When you run a small business it can be hard to feel that it is OK to take any time off. But as the summer approaches and the weather starts to warm-up, the desire to be out of the office grows stronger and stronger. Here are my top tips for the best way to get away AND keep on top of everything:

1. Get ahead of yourself – it’s worth putting in some hours ahead of time to cover off as much as you can. If you don’t already have a quarterly plan, draw one up and then realistically work out what unmoveable deliverables need doing during your holiday time and also the week before and after. Then put in the extra hours to complete those tasks ahead of time in order to clear the decks for a relaxed break.

2. Blog posts can be written in advance and their publication scheduled in. Facebook has its own scheduling tool and Tweets can also be taken care of in this way with various apps. Blogs and Facebook posts don’t have to be long or particularly insightful as it’s just for a couple of weeks. A photo or a quote can plug a hole at a push so long as it’s relevant.

3. It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to set your Out Of Office notification on both your email and website enquiry page as well as your voicemail. This way, anyone who has a non-urgent query can wait until you’re back to work full time. Do tell your clients and colleagues well ahead of time that you are going to be away though – don’t let them find out from your Out of Office reply!

4. Admit that you are going to do some work as this is the reality of running a small business. The trick is to enable yourself to do this in the easiest way possible by setting up your tablet (not laptop as this is too much like being in the office and will stop you working from the garden, café or beach…) with a remote access app that lets you access your exact desktop so you can navigate around easily and don’t have to bother saving things to the cloud or a memory stick before you take time away from the office. Be sure to choose an app that has a five star reputation for the mobile experience and easy navigation – you don’t want to spend your holidays fumbling and squinting , just get things done and get back to having fun.

5. Choose a time slot in which to do a small amount of work each day and try to stick to it – half an hour before lunch often works as then you can enjoy your meal, hopefully with a view with far horizons but anything other than the usual four grey walls will be good for you. With the right remote access app, you can connect using any iOS or Android mobile device or either a Mac or PC from any location via 3G/LTE or Wi-Fi.

Find out how to access a computer remotely in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLBGwzPtAGA