Every year I come back from vacation wanting to doing another post to remind myself just how essential they are. Not just to one’s mental health and well being. But to one’s productivity, however you measure it.
In short, vacations are good for work. Period.
But here’s another lesson I learned this year: as I’ve long suspected, you can do as this BBC article suggests and simply ignore all the emails you get while on holiday. Call it an email sabbatical.
It really is that simple. Email is asynchronous communication. Life moves on while you are on vacation. So move with it.
Just ignore any email sent during your vacation, and re-engage with your email stream when you return exactly like you re-engage in your email stream every morning.
If that sounds preposterous, just try it once. That’s exactly what I did this year, and I didn’t miss a beat. Not a single one.
All I missed was the stress of feeling like I had to catch up with a week’s worth of email.
And it wouldn’t matter if it was two weeks. Or three. Or a month. Or two months.
I’m never going to stress about vacation email again. The important messages will find me. And in the meantime, the peace of mind is worth more to me—and my company—than all the email in the world.