Will you have a digital detox? 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.
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.
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.