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WORK-LIFE BALANCE

8 Tips for Staving Off Inbox Insanity

Can your vacation be a vacation from your inbox, too?
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Finding the time to take a much-needed vacation is hard enough for founders. What can be even more challenging, though, is trying not to be connected every second you are finally on that vacation--particularly by way of your inbox. We asked eight members of the Young Entrepreneur Council to share their tricks and tips for dealing with emails on those rare but coveted days off.

1. Appoint One or Two Problem-Solvers

This instills trust in these individuals and gives them recognition. Ensure that they are the only ones who can communicate with you while you are gone and they know to put "URGENT" as the first word of the subject line so that you can quickly filter to catch the email. Set an away message, and check in every 48 hours. For emergencies, give your cell phone number to these people. --Ziver Birg, Zivelo

2. Cruise With No Cell Service

Honestly, it's the best way to be on a vacation. It will be scary at first. Just know that when you are pulling out of the harbor and you see your cell service blink off, all you need to do is sit back and sip on that margarita. Be prepared for the phone to explode when you pull back into the harbor seven days later, but it's worth it once or twice a year. --Torrey Tayenaka, Sparkhouse

3. Leave the Phone and Use Autoresponder

Here's a tip not for the faint of heart: Leave your cell phone at home! Or at least keep it in your hotel room while you're out enjoying yourself. Set up your team ahead of time so others cover your duties and responsibilities while you're gone. Also, use an email vacation autoresponder that tells people you're gone and won't be checking emails until you get back. --Joe Barton, Barton Publishing

4. Use Mailbox

Use the new Mailbox app for iPhone. Spend 10 minutes when you wake up in the morning prioritizing emails, and "swipe to the left" to save them for a later date. The app will remind you to get back to them once your vacation is over. --Stacey Ferreira, MySocialCloud

 

5. Hire Amazing People

If you have a team that you trust, you won't have to spend your vacation putting out fires. Turn off the email on your phone, and let the amazing people you've hired handle it while you relax. You will come back a better leader than ever. --Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

 

6. Forward to a Trusted Manager

Forward anything that is time-consuming to a trusted manager so that he can help you enjoy your vacation. One surprise is that, while that type of work may be taxing to you, it might be an appreciated reprieve for your manager from his normal work and also a demonstration of the trust you have in him. --Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors


7. Lead by Example

As a founder, I try to lead by example. When I'm on vacation, I actually go offline and post an out-of-office message. I encourage our employees to do the same and to take the time they need to re-energize and refocus with some time off of work. --Jesse Pujji, Ampush

 

8. Make Quick Replies Twice a Day

Just do quick replies twice a day--once in the morning and once at night--saying that you're on vacation now, so you won't be able to give them the attention they deserve. You will reply when you get back. --Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing




IMAGE: Flickr/Daniel Y. Go
Last updated: Jul 12, 2013




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