Blogs

Showing items tagged with "email free vacation" - 8 found.

Email Free Vacation – will you have one?

Posted Friday July 21st, 2017, 11:39 am by

It’s that time of year, many of us are either on or planning a vacation. The perpetual question is whether or not to have an email free vacation.

We found that 80% said that dealing with the holiday email overload is one of the most stressful aspects of having a vacation. More stressful even than loosing your passport. Hence why they did not dare have an email detox. As stress and mental health rises up the corporate agenda, the reasons for disconnecting are ever more pressing to preserve our well-being.

Organisations have adopted many ways to lessen the holiday email overload effect from an ‘Out of Office’ messages asking you to re-send the email when the other person is back to adopting an email free vacation charter. But what if your company has no such policy? Here are the top ten actions you can take by yourself to have an email free vacation and reduce the holiday email overload mountain.

Pack the inbox properly

  1. De-clutter your inbox before going on leave. Clear out all the old emails and flag those needing your attention on return. Be ruthless, delete the low priority ones.
  2. Use rules to divert all new low priority emails eg newsletters and in reverse highlight potentially important ones.
  3. Set a safe and simple Out of Office message. Run it for a day before and after your vacation to allow time to chill out and then gear up smoothly.
  4. Switch off work email feed on your mobile device if you use only one mobile device. Otherwise leave the work one at home.

The email free vacation

  1. Establish a disaster recovery plan. In case of a real emergency leave a contact point.
  2. If you feel you must check your emails, allocate specific times eg end/beginning of the day.

Unpack the inbox on your return

  1. Spend the first half hour talking to colleagues to see what has been happened and hence which emails need you immediate attention.Email Overload Time Management
  2. Attack the inbox. Block out one/two hours for the first few days to clear the important emails. Use time management techniques like Pomodoro or apps like Saent to stay focused.
  3. Utilise the email software functions to help save time, for instance creating templates of text for responding (Quick Parts in Outlook) and Quick Steps to move and flag emails for action later (remembering managing the sender’s expectation).
  4. Stop after three/four days. Move the rest out to a folder and leave them.   By then if you still have not cleared all the really important emails it’s time to reflect on what are your real priorities.  This is akin to declaring email bankruptcy which is used very successfully by many (to defuse the holiday email backlog) on the basis that if it is that important someone will soon re-email you.

Do you have any tips to share about dealing with the email free vacation challenge? There is a free copy of either Brilliant Email or Taking Control of Your Inbox for the best response. Email us your suggestions by 10 August.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Read this post... | Comment on this post

Limit the holiday email overload

Posted Friday July 29th, 2016, 12:13 pm by

Before you go on vacation, will you be apply lashing of sun tan lotion to your inbox or exposing it to the risk of going red and swelling out of proportion? Here are five easy and simple actions you can take before going on leave to limit the risk of self-induced holiday email overload.

luggage-996574_1920

  1. Reduce the current inbox to as near to inbox zero as possible – see 2 and 3 below.
  2. Check for any important emails which if left unattended will be urgent when you return. If there are then either deal with them now or send a holding reply which allows you time on your return to deal with them.
  3. Move out all the remaining emails over a week old. They are past their sell by date and if they are not, rest assured, someone will re-email you.

You should just be left with emails needing attention on your return. You could be bold and move these too into a folder ‘awaiting action’. Now you have an empty inbox. How does that feel? To keep the inbox clean and de-cluttered see item 4.

  1. Set up rules to move automatically both essential and non-essential emails to folders eg newsletters, circulars, out of office messages, emails on which you are cc’d, etc. This also means that emails from key people are all in one place on your return and easy to find. Your inbox should then just contain important emails but un-planned for emails.
  2. Set a safe and simple Out of Office message. Take care not to leave the door open to prying eyes and cyber criminals. You might be bold and suggest the sender re-sends any important emails on your return as all emails will be automatically deleted. Such a practice is far more common than you think.

Now go off and relax safe in the knowledge that you have taken adequate precautions to reduce vacation (and even staycation) email overload. Maybe even have an email free vacation.

For more guidelines like these see Brilliant Email and Taking Control of Your Inbox (the latter is especially relevant for PAs and EAs who manage someone else’s inbox.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Read this post... | Comment on this post

Articles of note – August 2015

Posted Monday August 3rd, 2015, 4:28 pm by

Not surprisingly most articles which have caught our attention relate to the challenge of whether or not to disconnect whilst on holiday.  Here are a few which should give you food for thought about why and how to go for an email detox and disconnect.

And  just in case you are careless with your Out of Office message.

  • Cyber insecurity: when 95% isn’t good enough.  This reinforces the fact that the weakest link in the battle against cyber crime is us the human being.  More often than not a breach of security begins with an email and our careless email behavior.

So before you take your vacation, be sure to set a safe and simple Out of Office message which discloses as little information as possible.  Then switch off and have a proper break to re-charge the batteries.

Tags: , , , ,

Read this post... | Comment on this post

Will You have an email detox this vacation?

Posted Friday July 17th, 2015, 10:29 am by

This time of year sparks the age old debate about whether you should or shouldn’t stay connected to email when on leave. Recent studies have confirmed that email is the biggest drain on business people’s performance. So when it comes to holidays, those concerned with their own well being or that of their employees – should shout ‘Get a life’, disconnect as we all need time to discharge and recharge our batteries properly.

Last year Daimler introduced an email programme which automatically deletes all employees’ emails whilst they are on leave. Digital detox holidays are now on offer. When you arrive at your hotel you can elect to have all Wi-Fi connections disconnected.  In the USA some psychiatrists have now suggested that internet addiction should be treated as a psychiatric disorder.

stop-1151625_1280

Technology alone will not cure email overload despite some software providers claims. The real cure lies in changing our email behaviour. It is about re-thinking how we use email and curing what has become the hidden disease of 21st century working life – email addiction. It’s about learning how to use and manage our time and accept that it is OK to disconnect.

Even without such support, we can all self-impose other strategies including an email black-out.  This  will help while we are away  and when we come back from leave.  The benefit of your time away from the office it is vital to learn to how to wean yourself off your email/internet fix. If you can stop logging on or taking calls, you will relax more quickly and your friends and family will appreciate your undivided attention. You and they are worth it!

If you find it hard to disconnect then at least limit the distractions.

  1. Switch of all you email feeds and at the very least the office one.  Remember we are all dispensable at the end  of the day!
  2. Only log on once/twice a day and preferably at the end of the day – so you don’t ruin everyone else’s day.   Alternatively wait until the last day. Reward yourself for every day you do not log in.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Read this post... | 1 comment

Pack up your inbox for the vacation to avoid post holiday email overload

Posted Monday June 30th, 2014, 9:37 pm by

Do you plan either to log in whilst on leave or pack up your inbox for a well deserved break?  Whilst we all like to think we are indispensable, the benefits of disconnecting from the inbox (and indeed most aspects of the wired world) have been well documented in previous blogs.

For those who do intend to close up their inbox whilst they take a vacation here are our top five tips to help you reduce coming back to a severe case of email overload.

Email stress free vacation

Email stress free vacation

  1. In the weeks leading up to your vacation, start to reduce all the unnecessary noise which finds its way into your inbox (eg newsletter, all user announcements, social media alerts etc). Click here for more tips.
  2. Set up rules to filter out all the non-essential emails eg newsletters.
  3. If you normally pick up your work emails on your own mobile device eg iphone, remember you can turn off the traffic to that email account.
  4. Set an Out of Office message which is safe and reduces the risk of a cyber crime – click here for more tips. To reach inbox zero very quickly on your return you might even consider saying to internal senders that whilst on leave all your emails are being deleted and to resend it on your return!
  5. Block out a day either side of your holiday to clean out your inbox before and after your holiday.

If you feel you really must stay in contact whilst on vacation minimise how many times you check your emails to once and at most twice a day. Otherwise be prepared for some heated family arguments and possible having to deal with a wet iphone/Blackberry.

Past experience suggests that not logging in is like excess cargo which needed to be dumped (to paraphrase Diana Athill).

Reaching inbox zero on your return can be quick and easy by following this seven point plan.

Still need help downsizing your inbox and saving time dealing with email?  Call us now to discuss how our Brilliant Email masterclasses can help you and your business.

 

Tags: , , ,

Read this post... | 1 comment