Showing items tagged with "email free vacation" - 9 found.
Posted Sunday November 19th, 2017, 8:54 pm by Dr Monica Seeley
As the vacation season approaches, many of you will be faced with the perinial dilemma of whether or to put your inbox on vacation too. This article reviews the pros and cons and of having an inbox vacation. It looks at ways to pack (and unpack) your inbox properly so that you don’t drown in an email tsunami on your return. It shows you how to have a really email free vacation, setting a safe Out of Office Message what to do if you feel you really must log-in whilst away.
Published in Executive Secretary Magazine March 2017
Posted Friday July 21st, 2017, 11:39 am by Dr Monica Seeley
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
- 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.
- Use rules to divert all new low priority emails eg newsletters and in reverse highlight potentially important ones.
- 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.
- 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
- Establish a disaster recovery plan. In case of a real emergency leave a contact point.
- If you feel you must check your emails, allocate specific times eg end/beginning of the day.
Unpack the inbox on your return
- Spend the first half hour talking to colleagues to see what has been happened and hence which emails need you immediate attention.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
Posted Friday July 29th, 2016, 12:13 pm by Dr Monica Seeley
About to take a few days out of the office? Here are give top tips to avoid coming back to a chronic attack of business email overload.
- Reduce the current inbox to as near to inbox zero as possible – see 2 and 3 below.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 a chronic attack of business email overload.
Posted Monday August 3rd, 2015, 4:28 pm by Dr Monica Seeley
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.
- How to switch of from work when you go on holiday. A good read with excellent advice on what to do before and during your holiday.
- What obsessive-compulsive phone checking is doing to your brain. In a word – destroying it. We have been saying this for years based on UK data. Now an American psychologist has proved it conclusively. All the more reason to switch off whilst on leave.
- Going on vacation – don’t pack your email. Taking an email free vacation gives you space to relax properly, work on relationships which will benefit from some TLC and think more at a higher level.
- Hotels offer you a digital detox. If you don’t quite have the will power to switch off yourself, then find a hotel which will help you have not just email free vacation and completely disconnect. Scary.
- You’ve got mail (all the bloody time). And its not just business related, but social matters too. Draws on the work of various leading email management gurus with tips and hints on how to switch off and calm down.
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.
Posted Friday July 17th, 2015, 10:29 am by Dr Monica Seeley
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.
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.
- 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!
- 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.