A couple of years ago, I taught a class on reducing email bloat and “taking back control of your inbox”. It was a fun class based on the lessons in The Hamster Revolution. If you haven’t read the book, it’s well worth the time.

CIO magazine recently published an article on keeping email from ruining your vacation. The same basic principle applies. That is, if you write well-crafted, professional, on-topic emails, the people you talk with will start to write more professionally back to you.

The CIO article goes on with some other suggestions to take advantage of new technologies to help people either remember that you’re on vacation or to help themselves while you’re gone.

  • Filesharing is good. Take the time during the year to set up better collaboration and it will pay dividends when you need some time away.
    • Minimize constant email exchanges. They’re too transient and hard to file. They don’t create the institutional knowledge that a wiki or well-designed fileshare can. And if it’s a really complicated or sensitive issue, email may not be the best choice in the first place. Some things should be sorted out in person.
    • If you can manage a wiki, they’re great tools.
  • Updating your status on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn will let everyone know where you are but I really do not recommend it. The updates are helpful for your customers and friends but they also paint a big red target on your house while you’re gone. You’re advertising that your house is unattended and vulnerable.

Take some time up front so that you can really be on vacation.

Leave a Reply