Proven TIPS that release you from holiday emails

and allow you to get on with the business of enjoying your holiday!

The flights had been booked for 11 months and the details had been months in the planning – after all it’s not every year I get 3 weeks away from my desk; and we were determined to make the most of it.

I’d even promised my family that I would NOT be checking emails, answering calls, texting or posting. Well it’s about time I followed my own holiday advice and actually took a holiday from all devices.

What I did before the holiday

  1. Planned work weeks ahead to allow me to leave a clear desk.
  2. Prioritised the must-do’s for the first 48 hours following my return.
  3. Confirmed meetings and deadlines in my diary as far out, as 6 weeks.
  4. Communicated my holiday dates (again) 24 hours before posting the out of office notice – always best to remind people, avoids the urgent phone call just as you hit the beach.
  5. Informed people of my promise to self /wife/family that I would not be checking emails – somewhat assured that if it was really urgent, they could leave a message on my mobile.


What I did on the holiday

I used my phone for directions, reservations, weather and the odd update on any football transfers and results… which did mean I saw the increased email traffic every time I switched the phone on!

So for my sanity and the enjoyment of others, I limited myself to 3 end of the working week sessions (early in the mornings whilst others slept) for scrolling my emails and checking my messages; which took less than half an hour each time.

I received 1,059 emails of which 122 (11%) were held unopened for my return, 10 (<1%) received a brief but necessary reply and 927 (88%) were deleted; the single voice message was from a company regarding a door delivery which I didn’t need to listen to, and the 6 missed calls with no message came from a call centre, which has since been blocked.


5 Key Tips

  1. Communication is key especially before you go away.
  2. A brief reply to those emails that demand a response goes a long way to parking the issue/matter until you return.
  3. Head space is vital for holiday reflections.
  4. The majority of emails should carry the flag “no need to read”.
  5. Manage your inbox don’t let it manage you.

And I’m pleased to say that I’m still married and had a great holiday!

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in communication, company holidays, efficiency, Time Management
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