Avoid Email Overload

How To Avoid The Post-Vacation Inbox Blues

Imagine this. 

You’ve just got back from a great vacation. You’re feeling relaxed and dreamy and blissed out. 

You sit down at your computer, a happy but slightly dopey expression lingering on your face, when suddenly–DUN DUN DUN!!–you see 4,679 new messages in your inbox.

If you relate to this, you might like to re-consider your holiday email policy.

The Vacation Dilemma: To Check Or Not To Check Email

A lot of people believe that when on holiday, you should unplug. Turn off the computer, disengage from social media, step away from the iPad. 

The break will recharge you, they say. You’ll be more creative, they promise. And they may well be right.


The pain of re-entry can undo all the benefits of your relaxing sojourn. Fast.

If you come home to find an email or social media bomb has detonated, then it won’t take long before the vein on your left temple resumes popping with re-doubled intensity. 

For this reason, I always check email on holiday. I spend about 20 or 30 minutes every day reading, replying, and keeping my inbox under control. That 30 minutes is a small price to pay for the feeling I get of being on top of things. For the reassurance that when I get back, I can sail right back into my work life with my post-vacation calm intact, and all my veins right where they should be. 

Which is not to say that this strategy is for everyone. 

All I can say is that I’ve done vacations both ways – with no email and with the daily 30-minute email session – and there’s no question that checking email makes for a more relaxing vacation and post-vacation experience for me. 

What’s Your Vacation Email Policy?

What about you? Do you access email on vacation? Or do you prefer to face the inbox music on your return?

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