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How I stayed disconnected from work over the holidays

Whenever I take time off from work, I make it a point to completely disconnect. I don’t do any work. I don’t think about work. I don’t read or respond to emails. I just enjoy time with my family.

Here’s how I do it…

A solid out-of-office

Here’s my out-of-office message:

Thanks for your email! I'll be out of the office through [DATE]. Cheers! Chris

That’s it. No “if you really need to reach me” number or “please contact this other guy if you need something.” I’m away. Here’s when I’m coming back.

I understand not everyone can pull this off, but it sets clear and strong expectations.

No work email on my iPhone

When I go on vacation, I remove my work email account from my iPhone.

As a general practice, I never use push notifications for email. But when I go to check my personal email, I’ll see that I have unread work email and feel the need to check it. That’s no way to spend a vacation.

So, I just remove work email from my phone altogether.

And that’s it. No work. No stress. Just a relaxing vacation.