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: MrFireStation.com (c) 2016