April 10, 2017

If you find it increasingly difficult to ‘unplug’ when you’re supposed to be recharging your batteries with some well-deserved time off, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that at least 50 percent of American workers are electronically tethered to their jobs after work hours and on vacation…checking emails and taking care of business remotely.

While there are some jobs that require being on call, much of the time we’re our own worst enemies…feeding a borderline compulsive need to stay in touch via our smartphones. This type of behavior is a real impediment to having a relaxing vacation—and a life—so try these tips to help you find your inner “off” switch and unplug on your next vacation:

1. Work ahead when possible.
An ounce of prevention is worth a thousand emails. Try to work ahead a little bit before your vacation so that you can leave work at work.

2. Give advance notice of your absence.
Let clients and coworkers know several weeks in advance when you will be away. This will give everyone notice that you will be gone and unavailable during your vacation time.

3. Engage a gatekeeper.
Try giving your out-of-town contact information to just one colleague and let them screen the requests for your attention while you are away.

4. Provide details in your out-of-office message.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Set up an out-of-office message specifying that you're on vacation, what date you'll be back, and whom to contact in your absence. This will reduce the chances that you’ll be hunted down via email, texts, and phone calls while you’re gone.

5. End email forwarding to your phone.
This one might be difficult. If your phone is set up to receive your work emails and you find it too tempting to resist reading and answering them, consider disabling the email forwarding while you're away.

Take time to find your inner ‘off’ switch on your next vacation. Plan ahead and prepare yourself (and those you work with) so that you can enjoy a few days of unplugged relaxation.

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