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
- Planned work weeks ahead to allow me to leave a clear desk.
- Prioritised the must-do’s for the first 48 hours following my return.
- Confirmed meetings and deadlines in my diary as far out, as 6 weeks.
- 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.
- 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
- Communication is key especially before you go away.
- A brief reply to those emails that demand a response goes a long way to parking the issue/matter until you return.
- Head space is vital for holiday reflections.
- The majority of emails should carry the flag “no need to read”.
- 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!