Yes, there it is, your well deserved vacation! Yet, have you ever had the feeling that your workload seems to double because of the many things you want to get done before that out of office is turned on? And then when you are finally on vacation, your thoughts about work might be hard to shut down? Follow these 5 proven strategies to avoid work distractions during your vacation and turn your vacation mode ON!

Use the PRE out-of-office signature

Picture this: you, on a beach, drink in hand, it’s paradise! And then all of a sudden, you get a call from a colleague asking information about a project you are working on… quit the downer on the sunset.

Avoid this by letting people know that you will be out-of-office and add the dates of your holidays in your sign-off two weeks in advance. That allows for others plan and reach out before you leave:

Eline Schumacher
Performance Consultant
Dale Carnegie Belgium
(I will be on holidays from July 19th until August 2nd included)

Make the out-of-office a true OUT-of-office

We all know the people who still answer emails on vacation, and we all slightly have the tendency to send them an email because we know they will reply. Make sure you are clear on what others can expect from you and set clear boundaries.  Voila, instant vacation credibility!

In your out of office, make sure to include:

  • The dates you will be away
  • Clear expectations that you will not be reading email (or if yes, then when)
  • When then can expect a reply
  • Who to reach out to for urgencies
  • A kind sign-off

Dear valued colleague / customer,

I am taking some sunny time off from July 13th till August 5th.

While I’m away, I am not accessing emails, yet my colleague (NAME) is happy to assist you with any urgent matters (email + phone number).

On my return I will answer email in the order they were received, so there may be a delay in my reply. If you need a more urgent response on my return, please resend it!

Many thanks for your understanding, I look forward to being in touch again.


Plan like a Champ

Before escaping to the land of sun and fun, tackle your to-do list like a boss.

  • Create a to-do list
  • Prioritize your tasks in advance
  • Delegate tasks to trusted colleagues, providing them with clear instructions and expectations.
  • Change your computer background to your vacation destination to keep your motivation going!

The less tasks you have lingering before you leave, the more you will be able to shut down your computer.

Detox from the TECH

In a world filled with notifications and pings, dare to silence the noise! Turn on your vacation mode by:

  • Muting your work apps
  • Turning off email notifications
  • Putting your work apps in a separate widget and AWAY from your home screen, or simply, remove them from your phone

If you want to check on work, then check in on your terms, so you can fully enjoy the magic of taking time off.

Fight the Urge, Be the Boss

It’s a classic battle of wills: you, on vacation, staring at your phone, fighting the urge to check emails. Rember, you are the boss of your own vacation destiny. You have entrusted colleagues with your absence, so TRUST them and resist the temptation to peek. Embrace your newfound freedom like a boss!