Voice mail: "Hi, this is Evan, I'm out of the office on vacation. But feel free to leave me a message here, or send me an email, because chances are I'm going to sneak a peek at my email several times a day on my iPhone, and maybe even check in on my voice mail if I can get a private moment alone in the back corner of Souvenir City while my family is shopping for t-shirts." Bye!
Reality:Sad fact is, for many of us, this is the case and a recent survey from NFI Research tells a sad story. Nearly 74% of the senior executives and managers check email while on vacation. Over 50% use a smart phone and nearly 40% are CONTACTED by work. Yikes! Sadly, fewer than 11% "totally detach from work."
My Greatest Detachment:In the summer of 2006, my family took our ultimate summer vacation. Three weeks in a camper. Colorado. Utah. Grand Canyon. Working with my team at Fishhook, we devised a plan and I did not check in, call in, get called or check email for 21 days. Someone was charged with email triage on my in basket every day and when I returned, I really only had about 40 important messages. The rest were handled, filed or trashed. It was a piece of advice from a friend that, was perhaps, the best piece of advice I have ever received. I was fully "there" with my family. (the pic above is us on the trail in Steamboat Springs- like the hats? we haven't worn them since)
I leave tomorrow morning for 7 days in Michigan. I'm really looking forward to it. This time, I don't really have a plan. I also have a new iPhone that I really like. It will take discipline not to check my email. I suppose I could turn it off and leave it in the suitcase. How about you? Do you have a plan for really disconnecting? Got any tips? Share 'em here.