Well…only 4 days off work really and an extra couple of days for bank holidays. Whilst my iPad and phone accompanied me away, I watched the email count gradually increase each day, and resisted the urge to log in and just “clear a few”, which I have always done in the past.
As of today (Monday) it stands at 470, and that is after the junk filters have done their best to eliminate some of the more obvious “rubbish”. But they can still wait until tomorrow! Someone has been copied in on my emails during my absence and anything urgent would have been picked up and at least a response provided.
Had I chosen to look at them, inevitably there would be at least one or two which would have needed a detailed response, and I would have fretted until this had been done...it is highly unlikely at this time of year that it could not wait until this coming week.
The French have introduced a law requiring companies with 50 or more employees to establish hours when staff should not send or answer emails. However, the effect of this may be to leave emails to be dealt with in work hours, pushing “other work” to needing to be dealt with outside of office hours.
It is not just email though – in an ever-connected world there are many ways you can be contacted even if you choose to ignore email. The good old fashioned telephone is one way! But there are instant messaging apps- Whatsapp, Messenger, etc. Or social media – Facebook, Twitter….any number of ways of someone making contact…so switching off from work means also switching off electronic devices! However, after reading 3 paperback (physical) books, I had run out, so the electronic device went on to read the ones downloaded to the Kindle app. I still resisted the emails though and thankfully no other means of attempted contact was noted.
One of my partners goes into great detail when he goes away as to how best to contact him, at what times, hotel address and telephone numbers…an endless list that must take the best part of a couple of hours to prepare. I just booked “holiday” in my calendar!
So tomorrow….the first 2 hours or so will be devoted to email….. then going through the incoming “post” in my paperless electronic in-tray – again hopefully most of it will be for “information” only. Something else i could have easily dialled into from a remote location and looked at....(but chose not to do so!)
In hindsight, scheduling a partners’ meeting for the first day back was not a good idea! There will be insufficient time to pull together the financial accounting reports and the other matters for the meeting, and leaving on time is highly unlikely.
Oh…and I guess some of the staff will have some “urgent” issues that need my attention “as soon as I am free”….how does Friday sound……?
Why does it seem so difficult this time….? It is only 4 days off after all – not like 2 solid weeks away….? It could be worse though ….it could be a long commute on overcrowded, late running trains, but instead it will be a 5-10 minute drive, the sea in the distance, the sun shining (according to the weather forecast)….it will be alright I’m sure!!