When you go on vacation, or even take a long weekend away from work and other responsibilities, the last thing you want is to still have to deal with an abundance of email. Time off should truly be time away from all aspects of business. You deserve time to recharge! But the world doesn’t stop turning just because you are out of the office, so what do you do about the constant flow of email coming in to your inbox?
The Professional Organizer in NYC has the answer! Preparation and planning is key. Here are some tips to help you leave the email behind and enjoy your vacation.
Plan ahead. Depending on your business, you may be the only point of contact for some clients. Letting them know ahead of time allows them to plan for the downtime. It’s also important to talk to your employees or coworkers who may be handling business for you. Give them time to prepare and ask questions about anything they may need to know beforehand.
Clean out your inbox. Before you head out of town, clean out your inbox. Process all unread emails, separate urgent tasks from those that can wait, file what you can, and delete the rest. When you return, you’ll only have to process emails that came in while you were gone.
Set up an auto responder. Use the auto responder function within your email service to set up an automatic reply to incoming emails. You want your auto responder to set expectations. Include that you will be out of the office with very limited email access until a specific date and that emails will be returned after that. You could also include the contact information for someone else who may be handling your business for you.
Give yourself some wiggle room. You may be returning to work on Monday, but when you set up your auto responder, tell people that you will be responding to all emails on Tuesday. Give yourself a day or two to get back into the swing of things and to allow yourself time to catch up on email. You may be coming back to a very full inbox, and it would be unrealistic to answer everything on your first day back in the office. Set the expectation for a date soon after you return.
Put the laptop and phone away. But if you can’t… Listen, the reality is that you may check your email while on vacation. It can be hard to shut off completely. However, you need to be sure to only respond to true emergencies and keep in mind that responses bring MORE emails. If you are really going to give in and check, then make sure you set boundaries for yourself. Allow yourself ten minutes to check in, forward emails to whomever may be covering for you if necessary, and then that’s it. Put that laptop and phone away so you can enjoy yourself!
These tips from a Professional Organizer in NYC will help you step away from your email and give yourself the chance to enjoy your well-deserved vacation. Rest assured, those emails aren’t going anywhere! So allow yourself a break, a chance to recharge, and come back to work well rested.