Some thoughts about re-entry

I did something I’ve never done last week.

I went away for an entire week without checking work email. Not once. Not even a looksy

I set up my “out of office” message to let folks know that I wouldn’t be checking emails and to contact my assistant if there were any urgent matters (there were 2 such things and were handled with two quick phone calls)

Otherwise everyone in my work life was very helpful and supportive of my time away.

Last night after I put the kids to bed I took a look at my inbox. Oh, god.

I then spent the next four hours straight getting through the vast majority of my inbox. My initial thinking was “this is a lousy way to spend Sunday night”

But then I realized those four hours were a great trade. In the past I would have spent 30minutes-1 hour doing mail per day on vacation to avoid a nasty re-entry.

But email as we know isn’t something you can turn on and off. It lingers. In your head. Get an email from someone with good news or bad news and it’s stuck in your mind long after your turn off your phone. So that 30minutes per day thing isnt really how it works.

And getting through it Sunday night just made my re-entry this morning feel great.

So it took my 20+ years but I now have a new vacation move

  1. Make a comittment to avoid work email on vacation.

  2. Set your out of office message and let folks know that you won’t be checking email.

  3. Spend the time the night before re-entry getting through most of your inbox

  4. Enjoy your well earned vacation.

I’m back. Refreshed and recharged.

(pls excuse any typos. Wrote this on my iPhone)