Want to really enjoy your vacation? Take care of your inbox before you go

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 4.08.18 PM ALAN KEARNS – It’s peak vacation season. Kids are out of school for another month. The summer lull has set in at work; or maybe it hasn’t. Regardless, you are due for some well-deserved time off.


It’s no secret that it takes time to unwind. It can also take some effort to ensure your time of rest and relaxation is actually filled with rest and relaxation. So how are you going to truly reap the benefits of time away? For many, managing their inbox is key.


We’d like to say we’ve stumbled upon something novel, but we haven’t. More and more research is pointing to email management as one of the biggest work stressors in our fast-paced world of instant notifications. So here are a few ways to ensure that inbox management is left at the office as you head out the door.


First, put the time in before you go. It seems obvious, but it’s easy to ignore your inbox as you rush around tying off loose ends. The more you can knock off before you leave the less stressful it will be while you’re away.


Second, give colleagues advance notice. It’s something small, but it gives co-workers the opportunity to fire you off any last questions that may have ended up disrupting your vacation.


Third, set an out-of-office. Be clear, be brief, and don’t miss any critical information. When will you return? Will you be checking your inbox while you are away? Do you have a designated contact in your place?


Finally, be disciplined. Holidays are important. They are a time for rest, for family and friends, for re-energizing, and they increase satisfaction in work and in life. So for your own career joy, leave work alone!


Alan Kearns is an author, guest speaker and the Founder and Head Coach of Career Joy, a national career transition and coaching network.