It doesn't matter if someone is Type A, an introvert, a highly sensitive person or a purple dinosaur: We all have email habits that are a little hard to break. That's never more apparent than when we go on vacation and put up an automatic reply.
Our out-of-office messages are generally short and polite. In other words, they don't reflect what we're really thinking. At all. Below are just a few examples of what those automatic replies would look like if we were really being true to our personality types -- followed by tips for unplugging from your inbox when you're away.
If your email habits surrounding your vacation are less than ideal, take solace in the fact that you're not alone -- especially when it comes to checking a message or two. A 2013 report found that nearly half of U.S. employees check their work email at least once a day during their time away. But research shows people are happier when they take a tech vacation.
It's time to take back your time off. There is balance to be found when it comes to taking a vacation and managing your inbox. Below are a few tips on how to delete your email guilt and actually enjoy your break from the office:
If you have a hard time unplugging while you're away
Try an email deletion tool. It automatically files any messages in the trash while you're on vacation so you don't have the temptation to check them (HuffPost editors swear by this method!). Just make sure to write in your out-of-office reply that you're using the service and invite them to email you again when you return. If deleting all of your emails sounds too scary, try one of these programs to help you better manage your inbox.
If you're coming back to the office with a full inbox
Don't tackle it right away. "Many people have the impression that email is work, but real tasks are more important," David Troy, CEO of productivity software firm 410Labs, told Entrepreneur. Allow yourself to adjust after your return by doing real work and then address the more urgent, time-sensitive messages first. Then go through and delete the unimportant emails (like newsletters and other untimely notes). Breaking down your inbox based on priority will make it easier to control.
If the idea of unread emails stresses you out
Set up filters before you leave for vacation. Certain email providers and tools like Gmail and SaneBox make this process easier, Fast Company reported. Change your inbox settings to automatically mark subscription emails and daily updates as "read" and file them to a separate folder outside of your main inbox. This way only the truly important messages are grabbing your attention when you return.
Ultimately, the key to a successful vacation is, you know, to actually take a vacation. Don't let your inbox rain on your parade -- or your piña colada.