From The Straits Times    |


The great thing about living in the digital age is that we’re connected 24/7. Unfortunately, that also means we feel the need to be constantly checking our emails, even when we’re not at work. So how do you resist the temptation of checking emails while you’re on holiday? Here are seven tips.

Out Of Office

One of the main reasons we check emails while we’re away is because we don’t want to deal with the mountain of emails that will greet us when we get back to work. While this bursting inbox is something nobody wants to contend with, you might not have to face it if your out-of-office message is clear and concise. Mention the exact dates you’ll be away and leave explicit instructions as to who to contact in your absence. If you say things like, ‘I’ll be checking my emails occasionally’, it’s not going to stop people from contacting you while you’re on holiday.

Don’t Pick A Peak Period

You know your work schedule and your clients best so only go on holiday when there are no major deadlines or events around the corner. This way, you won’t be needed to make any major decisions while you’re away so won’t need to be checking your emails.

Plan In Advance

If possible, book your leave early so that everyone you work with has sufficient notice as to your absence. This not only gives you enough time to prepare a contingency plan with your clients and colleagues, it also ensures that nobody else with the same responsibilities as you can go away at the same time. Which means you can (hopefully) sit back and relax on your holiday.

Prepare Your Colleagues

If there’s someone taking over your tasks while you’re away, prepare them in advance so they won’t be contacting you with tons of questions. Also make sure you give them the authority to make decisions on your behalf. If they are equipped to deal with your work, they won’t need to contact you and you won’t need to be checking up on them either. And, most importantly, trust them to deal with everything while you’re away.

In Case Of Emergency

Before going away, tell your colleagues and staff that they should only contact you in very urgent situations, and only by a call or SMS. This way, you’ll know you won’t have to actually check your emails and the only way that you’ll need to plug into work is if you actually get this call or SMS.

Leave Your Laptop At Home

Face it, if you have your work computer with you, the temptation to check your email (and actually work too) is a lot greater. But, with only your smartphone, you won’t be able to do as much work yet you’ll still have the option of checking emails in case of an emergency. For maximum relaxation, leave your phone in your hotel safe every day so it doesn’t infringe on your fun. So, even if you do end up checking emails, you’ll only do it when you don’t have any activities planned.

Do Not Respond

If you really feel you have to check emails, set aside, say, 10 minutes a day, but don’t reply to any of them. Instead, create folders such as ‘action required’, ‘to be forwarded later’ etc. That way, you’re organising your inbox for your return and you’ll know what requires your attention first.

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