Setting Email Boundaries for the Holidays

Be clear about what you want out of your holiday break, and use tools to help you keep work within the boundaries you set. Here's how!

Setting Email Boundaries for the Holidays

The holiday season is coming on fast. Everyone knows that between now and the end of the year, there’s a strong possibility that not everything will get done as expected. This can, understandably, cause some people to panic, and tempers can flare. That’s why it’s so important to set appropriate email boundaries this holiday season.

Communicate Your Needs
One of the best ways to prevent holiday conflicts is to communicate your needs effectively. You can do this in a variety of ways. In a corporate setting, setting your availability on your Outlook calendar or an equivalent can send a clear message to others that you will not be sending a response on certain days. This can help to temper expectations. You can combine this with an auto response service to further let others know that you’re out of the office, and when they can reasonably respect a reply.

Plan For Interruptions
Even with the best advance communication, in the fast based business environment, it’s inevitable that sometimes, something will come up. While it’s not reasonable to always stay glued to your inbox during the holiday season, you should prepare to respond in the case of an emergency. Ideally, what constitutes an emergency should be discussed with your team beforehand, and then an exception can be made.

Know When to Make Exceptions, and When Not To
No matter how much you communicate, some people may insist on attempting to get your attention via email during the holidays regardless. This creates a dilemma. When do you respond to an email during the holidays, and when do you choose to point to your calendar and auto response as a valid reason why the email went unanswered? Ultimately, the answer to this question is as varied as people are themselves. In general, emergencies should take a higher priority over general queries. However, even when choosing to answer a regular email, you should always bear in mind the importance of taking breaks and enforcing strong boundaries in your interpersonal relationships. Just because email can be instant communication, doesn’t mean that you always must be instantly available.

Enjoy Your Time
All in all, setting boundaries enables you to enjoy your holiday experience more fully. That’s why good email management practices are so important. Mailstrom and Chuck are two software solutions that help you take control of your email inboxes, assigning priority to emails, separating them into convenient groups, and so much more. These unique services can help you set healthy boundaries and approach your email experience in a more productive way. Try them today!