Be More With Less is one of the internet’s biggest proponents of simplicity (and I’m a big fan) actually wrote a post about how they were going to be away from their emails for more than a couple of days and they were going to use an autoresponder for the first time. And they were feeling ‘yucky’ about it.


I replied with a rather long comment saying that I use out of offices weekly, I switch off my email and work phone for four days at a time. And never check them when I am on holiday.

I am a writer; researcher and consultant/coach. No-one is going to die if I don’t check my emails.

But I do manage expectations.

I have my new policies page where I explain about how I work, including only accessing emails 3 days a week, how I work and what to expect if you buy one of my products.

My email signature explains that I only check emails 3 days a week.

You get the picture – I guard my time well. I have lots of free time to create, to think and to breathe.

While I am away from my computer I solve problems and think of new creative ideas for my work and my clients’. I don’t think the same can be said when I am fending off emails.

Emails don’t add any value to the work that I do. They are useful and important, but not valuable.

Of course I have time away from them.

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  1. This appeals to me, as I often feel obligated to answer as quickly as I can; whatever the means of communication. That is why I did not like answering machines for landlines. I disliked the responsibility of listening and calling back.

    When I was working I often told clients that they could count on me checking the e-mail account I used for them every day. Granted, they had emergencies that needed immediate help, but I thought that e-mail was the more reasonable choice than giving out one of my phone numbers.

    I think it would be good for me, benefiting me in so many ways to become less concerned about what I think is my responsibility for on-line stuff, both work and personal. Anyone close to me knows exactly how to reach me should there be some important issue.

    I am going to do this.

  2. I am glad I could help!

    I switch my voicemail off on my work phone when I am away as I can’t bear the thought of the stack of messages.

    Online stuff has such a pull, it is difficult to resist, we do seem to have been trained into the idea that if it is online it needs to be dealt with now. I’m not sure how that happened!

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