Holidays Are Awesome. Returning Can Be Fearsome
Upon your return, you head back to the office with renewed vigor, but every step takes you closer to your overgrown inbox.
While you’ve been away your emails (and daily helping of junk mail) has been accumulating, and you now face the daunting task of sorting through the deluge of unopened messages.
Or do you?
I know someone who schedules a full day to trawl through their in-box. And I once heard of someone who deleted their entire inbox believing that if it were important the sender would resend it. What we’re suggesting isn’t that drastic, but it may make you feel uncomfortable.
Most email software comes with an Out Of Office (OOO) tool. In spite of receiving an OOO response, we all secretly believe that the recipient is sipping a cocktail AND checking their emails, and so we eagerly await a response.
So let’s manage those expectations, go entirely off the grid and still come back to an empty inbox.
Next time you’re away, set your out of office with this message:
Thank you so much for your email. Unfortunately, I’m on holiday and uncontactable until 17/8/15.
I will not be reading this email, and it will be automatically archived so that when I return, I shall be starting with an empty inbox.
If this is urgent and needs to be dealt with by someone before 17/8, please send it to my assistant Caroline (email@example.com) and she’ll make sure it gets to the right person.
If you think I need to see it, please send it again after 17/8.
Drastic? Perhaps. But controlling how email interacts with you can be immensely satisfying.