“The Pause that Refreshes”: Email free weekend results

Here I am in wintry Tasmania, Australia. Being a day ahead of most of you, theoretically I’m not cheating by peaking at your responses to my suggestion that we rest, refresh and recharge by staying away from email until Monday. It’s Monday night here!

Based on your comments, you either love this idea or think it’s a joke. But remember, I never asked you not to not play. I never asked that you not write to your long lost friend, shop to your heart’s content, download music, or play poker. I never asked that you avoid the fun stuff we do with email. I only asked that you not work when you’re not at work. That you not check or create work emails. That you avoid creating expectations that you’re available no matter what, and no matter when. The point was to take a breath from work to work better. Use vacation to vacation not to catch up, clean up, or contain the stuff that overflows at work.

And if your work goes on over the weekend, a realtor, for instance, you probably can’t afford to not check. A banker, however, or a teacher, hotel salesperson, business owner, assistant, manager, etc, – you’re supposed to be on vacation!

If you’re gagging right now, thinking that the only way you can go back to work sane is to work all weekend, it’s a problem, dude. It’s the same type of thinking I see at meetings where attendees use their entire break to check their messages – rather than networking, meeting new people, doing the stuff you can only do F2F – and then feeling overwhelmed because they didn’t get everything done because of the meeting!

We all have too much to do, with too little time, and too few resources. And some of us – I’m head of this club – love to work. I get off on working.

Yet, here’s the thing: If we work non-stop, we burn out. We stress out. We perform less well than if we can allow ourselves the freedom to just breathe once in awhile. So, it’s okay to take a 3-day holiday weekend and – what a concept – be guilt free about taking a holiday from work.

Can you do it? Here are some of the comments I received Friday regarding my suggestion to be email free:

I will definitely take you up on this advise, Sue!

I hope this applies to you as well!

I’ll try. . . Yikes! It’ll be hard. . . But I’ll try.

Thanks for the reminder. We need to hear it again and again before it sinks in. Have a wonderful holiday! and you too stay away from that computer:)

You are so right on! I went an entire week without e-mail or a computer and hardly answered my cell. Was great!

Thanks for the reminder!

And from later in the weekend:

It’s the weekend, and if I didn’t check my e-mail, I wouldn’t have found this. What a treasure-

Thanks for this insightful reminder as I read my e-mail on Saturday morning!

Thanks but cant do it.

It didn’t go too well. Miss you Sue.

Awareness is half the battle!

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