Magical Escape From Work Email


This week we are on Spring Break – enjoying the sunny weather in Florida.  When I get back, I only have one week left in the office before I leave for early retirement, so I’m kind of feeling retired already.  Kind of like the ‘practice early retirement’ I imagined when I was home for the holidays.

This time, I decided I would NOT pay attention to work emails. At all. In fact, I went so far as to actually disconnect my work mailbox from my phone, so I couldn’t easily peek if I wanted to. I figured MegaCorp is going to cut me off from work emails after just 5 more days in the office, so I might as well beat them to the punch.

I did put an outgoing reply that said: “I will be out of the office on vacation until 3/28. I will NOT be checking emails.  If you REALLY need to get ahold of me, I’m sure you’ll find away.”  I included a smiley face so people knew I was just having fun. My cell phone number is in my email signature anyway.

So, while I am purposefully not checking work email, I can’t help THINKING about checking work email. I find I’m thinking of work email at least every hour during the day. It seems wrong to be so out of touch with the office, but I better get used to it. (I did trade text messages with a couple work friends and my boss on Monday, but they texted me first!)

It is amazing how ingrained work is in your thought patterns, even when you are miles away.  It is really insidious. You can’t help wondering what is happening back at the ranch.

This is the first time I have tried to completely shut communication off via email.  Normally I’m doing my best to stay in touch, despite the difficulties.  Once, on a family Mediterranean cruise, I spent several hours back-and-forth with my team from a Turkish internet cafe trying to solve out an urgent commodities planning challenge on our business.  Last year, when traveling in Scandinavia, I picked up emails several times over the course of an 11 day trip (when I could find decent wifi).

In fact, I can’t remember a single trip probably since my honeymoon (pre-email & cell phones), when I didn’t have some connection back to the office.  That trip was also to Walt Disney World, so maybe that’s why they call it the Magic Kingdom!

How long do you think it would take you to unplug from the office?

Image Credit: (c) 2016

22 thoughts on “Magical Escape From Work Email

  1. I’m right there with you. I don’t know what it it, but even when I know I’m on vacation and people know I’m unavailable I still have the urge to check those damn mails. Once they are no longer piling up in your inbox I’m sure that feeling will fade away, but it will take some time and other activities to take their place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s all part of the transition process from work. Someone once described to me as ‘getting out of a bad relationship.’ You know it’s not what you want, you know it drives you crazy, but you still miss it somehow.


  2. Oh Fire, you’ll still keep wondering what’s going on back at the ranch, and checking the associated emails – It will just be a DIFFERENT RANCH! Maybe instead of keeping track of what’s going on at MegaCorp, you’ll be checking in with “The Fireman’s Man Cave, Happy Place, Saloon and Garage, Inc.” (That’s how Handsome rolls – Remember Frank, Warren, & Jimmy? – he’s always checkin’ something on that phone!) πŸ™‚


  3. Good preparation. I like the smiley.

    Due to a laptop problem last year, I was able to make a mindset change. I was notable to connect to the office email and sort out my mailbox. I tried the smartphone briefly but it was too cumbersome. I helped me. I know have some sort of switch

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am actually supposed to be getting a new laptop this week. I tried to tell them that I didn’t need it – maybe they will take my old one on Monday morning, and I will be done with MegaCorp IT department.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am probably the most “compulsive phone grabber” of anyone I work with. I am never without my smart phone, which makes this more challenging. πŸ˜ƒ


  4. I like the idea of a practice trip ahead of retirement to try to break the habit early. But now that I think about it, I don’t even like the thought of email-checking as a habit. Will reflect on this. Have a great vacation! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The timing of our spring break just happen to fall one week before we early retire. We didn’t plan it, but it has worked out awfully well. I think it works better for MegaCorp too – it is as if I am already gone, but come back for one week to answer any questions. By backfill has finally been announced, and I will have a chance to meet with him before I go.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Having no internet connection is both a blessing & a curse. We are in a resort hotel right now and the wifi just went on the fritz. I have a book to read, but I haven’t cracked it all week. Maybe I’ll have to now!


      1. yep, in 16 days I read 5 books, get out for running all the mornings, plus walk 6-10 km minimum per days. I feel the life.
        I will book same kind of holiday, soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow – that’s quite a schedule! I hope I can organize such a productive schedule.


      3. it was no schedule: I enjoyed the evenings. I just had the kindle with me with a lot of books, the morning it was jogging, the day with the child, the evening my reading moment.

        Liked by 1 person

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