This blog post from the Wall Street Journal really hits on a truth that is part of today’s work culture: We’re never really unplugged. Thanks to tablets and smartphones, it’s way too easy to check email, even when we’re technically out of the office. I know I'm guilty of it, which is probably why I loved the blog post.
Because that's what happens, it’s become expected that we’re going to do just that. So people email us, and sometimes even expect replies when we’re supposed to be taking a break.
In the spirit of Memorial Day weekend, what are the ways we can truly disengage from work?
In the Wall Street Journal blog, the author suggests:
- Turn the phone off so you’re not even tempted to check email.
- In your out-of-office message, tell people you’ll be deleting all messages sent while away. If it’s important, they can resend after you’re back.
- Remind co-workers they don’t need to email you when you’re away. If they absolutely have to reach you, they should just call or keep the emails brief.
In this blog post from Harvard Business Review, executive Tony Schwartz talks about his recent experience going from being connected all the time to not even taking his iPad, phone and other digital devices with him on a much-needed nine-day vacation. He writes: “If there had been an emergency while I was away, I could have been reached. The humbling truth is that not a single thing demanded my attention. Most everything can wait.”
And when he returned, he felt ready and even enthusiastic to read his email and had much less anxiety about it.
How do you disconnect when you take a vacation from work? Comment below.