Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Email Communication Vacation

This holiday season, I plan to take a nice long break from checking my work-related emails. This is harder than it sounds, especially since I do most of my work from my laptop anywhere I happen to be. My hours are often long, and can extend into the weekends. I am often on the road, off to meetings with clients and associates who need a great deal of information, so I must always be prepared. That is why I made a conscious decision to step away from my work email completely during my seventeen days out of the office.

In previous positions I have had, I was always tempted to check work email if I had access to it after a few days. Since I am fortunate enough to have more time off, I decided to disconnect from my work-related duties completely for a little more than two weeks to reflect on the year that has passed, plan a little for the year to come, and to reconnect with family and friends. Yes, I need more than just thinking of a few New Year’s Resolutions the day before the year end.

A part of me would like to avoid personal emails completely during this period, but that would not be possible for me due to familial and friendship obligations. I see myself just checking once a day, or once every other day, just to see if I can. Perhaps when I have another vacation in the future, I can retreat from my personal emails completely too, but it seems too radical a concept for me at this time.

We are all so connected to each other via the web, but not so much in person; the Internet is our substitute for most communications these days. When there is no Internet access, we often find ourselves lost if we do not turn on our computers, laptops and/or phones to see what is going on. I look forward to transforming any lost feelings I may have into those of freedom from “the machine.”

Would you ever take a break from email?

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