While reading through one of the many blogs and user groups that I belong to, I came across an interesting article on Vacations for Project Managers.

We all try to keep the work/personal life balance and I agree that your vacation time should be your time to disconnect.  Like fellow blogger Bruce, I agree that we all should take vacations and ‘unplug’ however I am guilty that I still ‘check e-mails’.  If you can unplug totally, I highly recommend it – however you need to leave all the work thoughts and follow-up for when you return.

I battled with totally disconnecting and reading my e-mails at periodic times during my vacation.  I found a happy middle ground for me and my family (as vacation is all about more family time).

I find it easier once I am back from vacation if I follow these five (5) simply following steps:

1) Set your Out of Office reminder to contact your back-up or colleague.  (Get their approval prior – obviously).
2) Confirm with your team/clients that you will be on vacation and you will not be responding to e-mails.
3) Let your team know that you are only checking e-mails once a day.
4) Respond to e-mails only once a day.  (The less you respond the more they will figure out or do on their own).
5) Limit your time spent on all work activities to 10-15 minutes each day (including checking e-mails and conversations)  Make this a time either before the day’s activities or when you are not needed by the family, tour guide, or your favorite activities.  I usually do this early in the morning.

Thought some of you would find this timely especially coming off of the end of Northern Hemisphere summer.