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Vacation Well: Start with the Three-Day Weekend

27 August 2019

Allison remembered one of the best lessons from her favorite article about how to have a restful and enjoyable vacation. Who will join her in a three-day, email-free challenge this Labor Day weekend?

Tags: allison read, balance, email, matt richtel, vacation

It’s no secret that I think vacations are important. I blog about the topic pretty frequently and always tell people about Matt Richtel’s article, Vacation Sabotage: Don’t Let it Happen to You.

His article provides eight suggestions for how to prepare for a week-long vacation and what to do while you're away so that you enjoy yourself. One of his many great tips is that people should “Channel the three-day weekend. Sometimes with breaks, less can feel like more. Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Columbus Day (whenever that is) can seem more relaxing than a full week’s vacation. Why? It helps that on national holidays we are often getting a free day along with a lot of other people we work with. Less guilt. Less anxiety. But we also tend not to prepare for three days off with the same manic intensity as we do when preparing for a week off. So before you leave, tie up whatever loose ends you can. But no double knots. Your mantra: it’s not a week’s vacation, it’s a series of two three-day weekends, plus a bonus day.”

While I’m also a big proponent of email-free vacations, I do understand the prospect can be daunting for many reasons. One of the additional bonuses of a three-day weekend in the United States is that often your email inbox doesn’t fill up as quickly because many other people are taking the day off, too.

This weekend is Labor Day. Would any of our readers like to join me in a three-day weekend challenge? Let’s try not do any work or check email. Disable email on your phone so that you don’t see the email total adding up. Work hard these next three days with the knowledge that a break is coming, but don’t overdo it or tie any double knots before you sign off on Friday night.

Maybe we’ll return to the office next Tuesday more refreshed than usual. Perhaps those of you who have never taken an email-break might feel more comfortable giving it a try on your next vacation if you start by just signing off for three days. If any of you join me in this challenge, please send me an email with your reactions to the experiment, and I’ll write a follow up post with your anonymous comments.

p.s. What's nice about this experiment is that in most cases you don't even need to write an out-of-office automatic email reply for a United States three-day weekend. However, if there are people who would be surprised by your lack of response, or if you work internationally, then this post might help you to find your words.


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