It’s a big vacation week for many businesses (unless you’re in retail, of course!). B2B business tends to be a lot slower, and many companies close down or work limited hours this week. And that’s a good thing. Still, in this hectic 24/7 world in which we live, shutting down for a few days is easier said than done.
Here are some quick reminders on how to unplug without breaking a sweat…and why you should do it.
1. Set expectations, not just your “away” message. Yes, you should set your vacation message, but before you do that, you should set expectations first with clients and employees. Give everyone a heads up that you’ll be out of the office between Christmas and New Year’s. Send an email to your top clients and colleagues about your time off. And, for the future, here’s a strategy that can help get the word out. A couple of weeks before you leave for vacation (or any extended leave), add a line in your email signature—in a color that stands out—that says, “Note: I’ll be out of the office from this date to this date.”
2. Think in terms of moderation. Are you addicted to checking your phone for work-related emails and texts, even when you’re on vacay? It’s important to note that you’re not alone. Inc. magazine cites a survey by Prosper Mobile Insights claiming that most mobile users (78.8%) take their devices with them on vacation and use them all the time. Sound familiar?
Going cold turkey with any addiction is seldom a good idea. Instead, compromise: allow yourself some time to check emails and so forth. But stick to a schedule, like an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. When you’re with family and friends, keep the phone off or out of sight. (And have someone—like one of your kids—hold you accountable in case you cheat!)
3. Repeat after us: the work will be there when you get back. It’s a simple concept, one we’ve all heard before, but it’s worth repeating. The report that’s lingering on your desk will still be there when you return to the office next week, but you’ll never be able to repeat this particular holiday season and winter break with your family and friends.
4. Allow yourself to ease back in. If you’re due back at work on January 2 and you’re afraid of what your inbox might look like, then it DOES make sense to spend a little more time checking in during the couple of days (or so) before your return. Review email and voice mails. Delete and delegate the stuff you can and prioritize the rest so that you can hit the ground running in 2014 with cool confidence instead of feeling like a hot sweaty mess.
Do you have any other tips for slowing down and taking it easy during work breaks? Share in the comments.
And on behalf of everyone at Amsterdam Printing, we wish those of you who celebrate a very merry Christmas!