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To Check Email or Not While on Vacation

With the beginning of the summer travel season right around the corner, it’s time to determine your strategy for managing email during your upcoming vacation. Closing your inbox and avoiding checking email while on vacation may not be possible. What if you miss something important? What if a client needs something? It can be hard to totally shut down but taking a break from work is a necessity for re-charging and rejuvenation. Instead of being attached to your inbox on your next vacation, consider these email management tips from your NYC Professional Office Organizer so that you can enjoy your time off.

Organize your inbox. Schedule some time during your last days before vacation to organize your email inbox. Process all unread emails, separate urgent tasks from those that can wait, file what needs to be saved in the appropriate folder and delete whatever is left. This simplifies your return to work as your inbox will only contain messages received while you were away.

Preparation is key. In some cases, you may be the only point of contact for your clients and business colleagues. Give those with whom you communicate regularly or with whom you are working on a special project as much notice as possible so that they can address important issues with you prior to your departure. The same is true for your coworkers or team who will be handling your clients and your business in your absence. Make sure to schedule time with them before you leave so that they are fully updated.

Create an autoresponder. This is a key item on your pre-vacation office organizing task list. Use the autoresponder function within your email service to set up an automatic reply to incoming emails. You want your autoresponder to set expectations for those emailing you. Make sure to include that you will be out of the office with very limited email access until a specific date and that all messages will be responded to by that date. If someone else will be handling
your business while you are away, add their contact information to the body of the autoresponder.

Set boundaries for yourself. While you’ll be checking your email on vacation – Keep in mind that vacation is a time to unwind and re-energize. To truly do so, you need to have confidence that your clients and your business are in good hands with your colleagues. As you will undoubtedly check your email while away, remember that once you start it’s very difficult to stop. Soooo…while waiting at the airport for your flight to board, set boundaries for yourself. Determine the maximum amount of time you plan to process emails each day and the number of times during the day that you’ll do so… and stick to it!

Follow these email management tips so that you’ll enjoy a well-deserved vacation! If you need more hands-on help with your email management strategies, reach out to this NYC Professional Office Organizer.

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