Don’t Kid Yourself with an Out-of-Office Reply

“Out of office” is an interesting game that too many of us play. We set up the autoresponse religiously when we go on holiday, then still surreptitiously check our inbox while we’re away.

Before we know it, we get sucked into the inbox and suddenly we’ve lost hours.

For some, a reply gets sent out as a part of the “real business people don’t do holidays” game, or its close cousin, the “see how hard I work even when I’m on holiday” game.

For others, it’s the “if I don’t do this now, it’ll be a lot worse when I get back” game, which is itself a variant of the “only I can do this correctly” game.

I decided to try something different last week. Using a reply I remember once receiving from Alex Qatsha (thank you!) for inspiration, I used the out-of-office reply in the first image below.

The result? I didn’t look at my inbox at all (removed from my phone). And the emergency inbox, which was on my phone, was what you see in the second image.

Less than one minute spent on emails, and a mind at rest allowing me to focus on what needed my attention (i.e. playing with my family).

Don’t thank me. Thank Alex!

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