Do you have a problem unplugging from work while you’re on vacation?

By Jason Terry, talking about the importance of being disciplined with your email and unplugging when you take vacation.

I often ask for blog ideas from our subscribers, and last week I got a great email from Tony Sheets, Principal at Umzuzu. Tony and I are in a peer advisory group together, and we refer a lot of business to each other. He’s a good friend and ridiculously smart when it comes to Google and other cloud based technologies. (If you need help with Google Apps, he’s the guy you should talk to.)

Here’s what Tony said in his email:

You have one of the best platforms for sharing things about good people practicing good business. Joe noticed I had vacation on my calendar for next week and took it upon himself to send me this article. (Emailing While You’re on Vacation Is a Quick Way to Ruin Company Culture.)

I’m a firm believer in not “checking in” on the weekends, evenings, and when I’m on vacation. But, I’ve slipped during vacation in the last couple of years. I’m glad Joe sent this as a reminder and thought you might want to share it with your audience.
Tony Sheets, Umzuzu

It’s way too easy to stay glued to your cell phone or iPad while you are on vacation. For some, it’s an addiction.

Do you have a problem unplugging from work while you’re on vacation?

Blue Gurus: Staying unplugged while on vacationI was on vacation last week for Spring Break and had my out of office email response turned on. I had decent internet access where I was at. And we had a laptop with us, so it would have been easy to work at any point during my trip. But over the years, I’ve learned how important it is to unplug as much as possible when I’m on vacation. It’s one of the times I give myself permission to relax and recharge.

I understand that you want to be available to your family, your clients and your team in case there’s an emergency. It’s a tough balance.

A compromise.

Maybe a reasonable compromise is to build some discipline and structure into the way you check your messages while on vacation. I talked to Dan VanDonge at Straub Construction about how he handles email when he’s on vacation. He checks his email once or twice a day and only responds to really important emails; leaving the majority for when he gets back to the office.

That’s how I handled emails on my trip last week. I was scuba diving in the mornings and spending time with my wife Trista in the afternoons. So most evenings I checked my emails, deleted the junk and marked the items that I would need to address when I got home. And yes, I responded to a couple of emails to move some things forward. Funny enough, I was chastised by my good friend Jim Stuelke at Extreme Coating Solutions for not staying unplugged.

I also scheduled an “administrative day” on the Monday after I got back. This allowed me to catch up before getting right back into my normal routine. As a result, I’m still relaxed and have better perspective as I look at the work ahead of me over the next couple of weeks.

If you went somewhere for Spring Break, how did you do? Were you glued to your phone or was it a non-issue? If you’ve got a trip coming up, I hope this story helps you in some way. I hope you’re able to stay in the moment and be present for yourself and for the people you’re traveling with. Mastering this can be life changing… speaking from personal experience.

I hope you’re having a great week!

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