I just had a great holiday and met 2 lovely ladies enjoying the heat and the pool and doing e mails!! They were Directors. Pity they weren’t in control of their teams or their lives and I have to wonder how valuable were their responses after the poolside drinks and distractions? So what will you do?

It’s now estimated we spend 25% of our day doing e mails http://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2017/03/30/adapting-to-the-future-of-work/

 Good thing or bad thing? For most of us it’s both and usually with my clients mainly a waste of energy. Holidays seem to create a whole new email dilemma for some, should I do them? If I don’t I’ll have hundreds when I get back! This should be no dilemma, you are on holiday! if it is I suggest a number of issues for you to consider

  • Why can’t your team cope for 1 or 2 weeks?
  • Why are you afraid to delegate or let go?
  • Tell your boss and colleagues you just won’t be available
  • If there are trust issues have you got the right talent
  • Wouldn’t you support others on holiday? So why won’t/cant they?
  • You need to refresh yourselves about the real benefits of a holiday

I have always had great respect for those with the courage to delete all e mails the day they get back. First day back the go talk to their teams and boss and get the issues directly and then get started. Good users of this method make sure their teams and customers know this before they go, they set the holiday rules.

And yes the important emails will get re-sent or you get a call, still better than 2 days wading through out of date info.

Interestingly most people know the problems yet don’t employ strategies to make a change. I had 1 manager recently who was getting 400 emails a day, note “was” getting. Typically most of these were CC’s or due to other staff not knowing the processes and simply asking someone who would know. They were dumping on her goodwill and commitment. It also transpires she had lost touch with her job description and had become the company email go to person! Great for her career prospects and results!!

One of the first rules has to be to set expectations around your rules for effective e mail management, this might conflict with the organisation however the chances are they aren’t working.

I am pretty sure when you were hired to do your job nowhere in the discussion was it mentioned you would spend 2-3 hours a day on emails including on holiday! So how much more effective would you be if you had 20% more time to do your job, that’s an extra day a week.

Go and enjoy your holiday, make a stand, be unavailable, let people step up, don’t be used, refresh yourself, rediscover your family. Return refreshed and with more positive energy to give to work.

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