10 Steps to Really Unplug
Business owners and executives should unplug from business and take a vacation every once in a while, whether it be time alone, time with the family, or simply time away from the daily grind of the job. Here are a few ways you can unplug: :
- Intentionally travel out of cell range – whether for a few days or only a few hours, occasionally travel out of cell range so you can pull yourself away from the constant checking-in process.
- Set up a vacation email address – to help avoid your work email while on vacation, set up a separate email address and share it only with the people you still want to stay in touch with, such as your family or travel companions. If needed, you can allow emails from management or important clients to be forwarded to your new email.
- Set up an automatic reply – in your auto-responder message, let senders know that you may not view all the messages you receive and that they should email you at a later specified date if they really need a response. This should help reduce the clutter of emails upon your return. If the matter is more pressing, refer them to an assistant or colleague. If needed, set up some guidance filters that send messages from certain people to a separate folder to keep them out of the inbox.
- Set up a check-in schedule – if you really need to stay in the loop, schedule a few minutes a day or a couple times a week to check your email and voicemail. Let your colleagues know what your schedule is so they will know the best time to contact you if necessary.
- Clarify expectations – go ahead and send a tweet and post on Facebook and Instagram that you are going to be offline for a couple weeks so others know not to expect a quick reply if they try to reach you.
- Turn off notifications – this is self-explanatory: turn off all work-related notifications on your devices for the length of the vacation so you are less likely to be lured into work mode.
- Cut off access to work accounts – to avoid work-related notifications, sign out of all your social media accounts that you use for work so you only have access to your personal accounts.
- Delete social media apps – to truly get away from the world and enjoy your vacation, delete all social media apps from your phone and restrict the usage of your phone to emergencies only.
- Read a real book – rather than hauling around your iPad or Kindle, get rid of your electronic devices and take a couple real books/magazines for your spare time.
- Don’t just prepare for it, do it – To truly unplug, you must, well, actually unplug. Don’t give in to any work temptations. Enjoy your vacation. You know you need a break, and besides, your employees probably wouldn’t mind taking a break from you as well.
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