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June 24, 2015

Starting Thought: Time for Summer Vacation, Not for Email

The weather is warming up, my children are on summer break, and like many of you, I’m seizing this opportunity to go on vacation. However, unlike many people – I’ll be disconnecting from work email during that time.

By now you may be familiar with my thoughts on checking email during vacation and even my Email-Free Vacation Pledge.  But have you made the commitment to yourself yet?

I’ve been able to ensure a vacation free of workplace interruptions for many reasons and I thought I’d share 6 tips below:

  • Set an example. The most effective leaders plan ahead and set their team up for success, so they can disconnect and recharge.  Plus, they know they’re modeling the importance of taking a true vacation for their entire staff.
  • Adjust your mindset.  Going into your vacation, plan not to access email, and not engage with work.  Let’s face it: If your vacation spot didn’t have email access, you’d not only survive, but you’d pretty quickly adapt and embrace your badly-needed vacation.
  • Prepare clients and employees. Before you leave, tell people that you won’t be available (and give them alternative contacts) and that you are looking forward to a vacation to recharge.  We teach others how to treat us, and setting expectations up front will help you unplug guilt-free.
  • Be “present” for the right people. Being present in person and through technology is important for our colleagues when we’re at work.  It’s just as important to be present for ourselves and our families when we’re on vacation. Work can wait a week.
  • Most problems work themselves out.  Think about those times when you’re not available during working hours.  Most often, work problems get figured out without your intervention.
  • Everyone needs time off.  It’s how we recharge, reconnect with what matters, and feel re-energized to be our best.  Don’t waste precious time by turning your vacation into a “workcation.”

You may be thinking that this sounds tough. It is. But the more we set up our teams to be successful without us, the better leaders we become, our employees become empowered, and we’re able to get some necessary R&R.

On top of it all, it’ll help us be more productive once we return to the office.

How are you planning so you can take the upcoming vacation days you deserve?


--David Grossman 


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