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Ask The Entrepreneurs: How to Battle Your Inbox While on Vacation

Ask The Entrepreneurs: How to Battle Your Inbox While on Vacation


    Ask The Entrepreneurs

    is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    Work email on vacation: do you do it? When is it time to tune out?

    1. Guilty As Charged!

      I never turn off my email. I may not be answering all of the emails that come in, but I am constantly scanning to make sure that the business isn’t on fire. I think it’s difficult to turn it off completely, especially if you are a solopreneur, even though there is great value in doing so. It is appropriate to tune it out if you are with family or friends though — give them attention too!
      Erin Blaskie, BSETC

      2. Admittedly Always On

        For entrepreneurs, “work-life balance” is more like “work-life blend.” When you need to recharge, you can take a break whenever it fits into your schedule; vacation doesn’t have to happen around prescribed times. Because of the reality of intermittent breaks, it’s never convenient to entirely tune out and switch off. You might set an away message, but it’s better to stay on top than fall behind.
        Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

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        3. Vacation Responder Is Key

          I go email-less at least one day per week, usually on the weekend. So when it’s time for a real email-free vacation, it’s important to have an away message and to give people who might have an emergency a way to contact you, but chances are their emergencies aren’t actual emergencies and can wait till you get back to your inbox.
          Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media


          4. Regular Checks Necessary

            I try to only check emails at certain times of the day when I’m on vacation. It’s not very realistic for entrepreneurs to completely log off for long periods of time, but you can limit it to first thing in the morning and once in the afternoon. If it bothers you to not check it, just check it quickly and get on with your vacation!
            Caitlin McCabe, Real Bullets Branding


            5. Sorry, Entrepreneurs

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              Whether you like it or not, if you are a founder, you should also serve as a customer service representative for your company. Customer service is a 24/7 job, and keeping your clients happy is a must. Email doesn’t have to take much time out of your vacation (an hour or two per day maximum). You should never ignore it completely.
              Eric Bahn, Beat The GMAT


              6. Hire Someone for That!

                Email and vacation don’t belong in the same sentence. Working during your vacation is distracting and will prevent from getting that R&R your body needs. The best way to get the best of both worlds is to let someone who is very trustworthy read your emails once per day. Ask them to call you if something is extremely urgent. That will give you peace of mind since you’ll know everything is in order.
                Christian Springub, Jimdo

                7. Live Your Vacation

                  I decided to live my vacation, but building my business so I am actually on vacation all the time. Part of that is checking emails and allotting time to make phone calls and things, but I built my business so I can travel the world and explore fun new places while hanging out with cool people, rather than taking a vacation and trying to get your balance in for a week. Balance your life daily.
                  Louis Lautman, Young Entrepreneur Society

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                  8. Yes, With a Caveat

                    When I’m truly on vacation, I’ll check email, but only for absolutely essential emails. I only answer emails if someone bought a product and it wasn’t delivered, or if my site is down for some reason. Just essential customer service and catastrophic tech issues. That’s it. Everything else can wait.
                    Sean Ogle, Location 180, LLC


                    9. Leaving Is Not an Option

                      It’s truly not an option to avoid checking your email if you are a startup company founder. It’s your job to serve your customers and fellow team members whenever needed, even if you’re lounging with a cocktail on the beach. The key is utilize parameters and have enough discipline to not be constantly checking your email throughout the day as you would at the office. Once or twice a day is okay.
                      Warren Jolly, Affiliate Marketing

                      10. Compartmentalize Your Life

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                        Of course I check work email on vacation — damn near impossible to fully disconnect! But I’m working on getting better at compartmentalizing work time while on vacation by dedicating up to an hour in the mornings to read and respond to the critical things. Then I shut off for the rest of the day and get something out of the vacation.
                        Brooks Kincaid, Imprint Energy


                        11. It’s Part of the Job

                          Answering email on vacation is one of the sacrifices entrepreneurs have to make. After all, no one is responsible for making sure the company doesn’t implode but you. Hopefully, after a few years of blood, sweat and tears, you can take a breather. But as a founder you will most likely always be heavily involved in your business operations.
                          Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work


                          12. Entrepreneurial Escape

                            When I’m lucky enough to escape for a few days, I usually set aside an hour in the morning that I designate to answering emails, connecting with clients and employees, and taking care of anything else that arises. Once that hour is over, the phone is off, the laptop is closed and the only thing on my iPad is Pandora for the rest of the day!
                            Kevin Tighe II, INFLITE

                            (Photo credit: Man in Red Shirt on Lakeshore via Shutterstock)

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                            Last Updated on July 13, 2020

                            9 Simple Ways to Always Stay Positive

                            9 Simple Ways to Always Stay Positive

                            It’s common to be struck with a bout of pessimism, or to naturally be more towards the pessimistic end of the perspective spectrum. It’s hard to see the positives in life and become an optimist when you’re lost in the murky waters of negative thinking.

                            However, Henrik Edberg, the founder of The Positivity Blog is here to share nine ways we can create a more optimistic outlook and positive perspective:

                            “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” — Maria Robinson

                            When I was younger — in my teens and early 20s — I was trapped. Not physically, but mentally: by the destructive thought pattern called pessimism. This negative thinking poisoned what might have been a pretty good and opportunity-filled childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. This pessimism created ceilings and walls where there really were none.

                            Throughout the period when I was ridden by pessimism, my life and I mostly stood still. Looking back, it was a terrible waste. If you are in pessimistic place, you don’t have to stay there for the rest of your life. I didn’t, for I learned to replace my negative thinking with optimism.

                            In this article I’ll explore nine positivity habits that have helped me to go from someone who was pessimistic most of the time to someone who is now optimistic almost all the time. I recommend to not try to add all the habits at one go but to choose one habit and to practice it for 30 days so it becomes a habit, before adding the next.

                            1. Ask Yourself the Right Questions

                            This is the simplest but perhaps also the most important habit I have discovered in adopting an optimistic mindset. The questions we ask ourselves day in and day out when we wind up in negative, difficult or uncertain situations make all the difference in our life.

                            A pessimist might ask him/herself questions like:

                            • “Why did this happen to me?”
                            • “Why do bad things happen to me all the time?”

                            But an optimist asks him/herself the questions that open up the mind to new viewpoints and possibilities. A few of my favorite questions for finding the optimistic perspective are:

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                            • “What is one good thing about this situation?”
                            • “What can I learn from this situation?”
                            • “What is one small step I can take today to start solving this situation?”

                            2. Create a Positive Environment to Live In

                            The people you spend your time with and the information you let influence your mind will have a huge effect on your attitude and how you think about things.

                            Watch this YouTube video and learn the power of a positive environment:

                            So choose to:

                            • Spend more time with the people who lift you up. And less time – or no time – with people who just bring you down by being negative and critical. Read: You are the Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With
                            • Let in the information that supports you. Spend less time on negative and self-esteem damaging media sources and spend more time reading positive and constructive blogs and books, watching motivating movies, listening to inspirational songs, and listening to audio books and podcasts created by optimistic people. Check out 12 Inspirational Movies With Important Life Lessons To Learn and 25 Most Inspirational Songs of All Time.

                            3. Be Grateful for What You Have (Don’t Forget About Yourself Too)

                            A very simple and quick way to boost the positive energy in your life is to tap into gratitude.

                            I usually do it by asking one or more of these questions:

                            1. What can I be grateful for in my life today?
                            2. Who are 3 people that I can be grateful to have in my life and why?
                            3. What are 3 things I can be grateful for about myself?

                            Just spend 60 seconds or a few minutes during your day with answering one of these questions to reap the wonderful benefits.

                            4. Don’t Forget About Your Physical Self

                            Being an optimist isn’t just about thinking in a different way. It is also about caring for the physical part of ourselves.

                            I have found that working out a couple of times a week, enough quality sleep each night and eating healthy food has a huge effect on my mindset.

                            If I mismanage those very basic things then negative thoughts pop up far more often and I become more pessimistic and shut down about the possibilities in my life.

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                            So don’t neglect these basic fundamentals. Just caring for your physical self the right way can minimize a whole bunch of problems in life.

                            5. Start Your Day in an Optimistic Way

                            The way you start your morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. For example, a stress-free morning often leads to less stress during the rest of the day.

                            So how can you set an optimistic tone for your day?

                            A three-step combination that has worked very well for me is to ask myself a gratitude question during breakfast, read some positive information online or in a book very early in the morning and then follow that up with exercising.

                            This sets my mind on the right path and fills me up with energy for my day.

                            6. Focus on Solutions

                            A sure way to feel more negative about a situation is to sit around and do nothing about it. Instead, use the questions I shared in step one and open up your mind to the possibilities of the situation you are in.

                            If you have trouble to get started with taking action, ask yourself:

                            What is one small step I can take today to get the ball rolling?

                            Then take that small step forward. However small this step is, it can have a big effect in your mood and thoughts. If the step feels too big or it just makes you procrastinate, then ask yourself:

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                            What is an even smaller step I can take to move forward today?

                            The most important thing is to move forward, even if it’s a tiny baby step.

                            7. Reduce Your Worries

                            The worrying habit is a powerful and destructive one and can take over anyone’s thinking. It used to be one of my biggest obstacles to optimism and to moving forward in life.

                            Two effective steps that have helped me and still help me to this day to minimize the worries are:

                            1. Ask yourself: how many of my worries ever happened in reality? If you are like me you will find that the answer is: very few. Most of the things you fear throughout your life will never happen. They are just nightmares or monsters in your own mind. This question can help you to do a reality check, to calm down and to realize that you have most likely just been building another imaginary nightmare.
                            2. Focus on solutions and the action you can take. The worries grow stronger in a foggy mind and an inactive body. So use the questions in Steps 1 and 6 to move out of your worries and into resolution.

                            8. Don’t Let Ideals Ruin Things

                            A common mistake people make when making a shift in their attitudes is that they think that they have be perfect and do things perfectly all the time. This traps them from being positive.

                            Changing to a positive attitude can be gradual. While you may slip and stumble, continuing this way over time will strengthen your positive viewpoint more and more.

                            But if you set an inhuman standard for yourself and think you have to go from being a pessimist to always being an optimist, then you may find it hard to live up to that. And so you may feel like a failure. You get angry with yourself. And you may even give up on changing this habit and fall back into negative thinking.

                            So instead, focus on gradual change. If you are optimistic 40% of the time right now, try to improve this to being optimistic 60% of the time. Then, increase that to 80% when you are used to the new standard, then subsequently 100% if you can.

                            This focus on gradual improvement is far more sustainable and likely to bring long-term success than trying to reach an inhuman standard grounded in perfection.

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                            9. Finally, a Reminder to Help You to Not Give Up

                            I would like to end this article with a simple but powerful and timeless thought that comforted and encouraged me to continue on when things looked bleak.

                            That thought is: It is always darkest before the dawn.

                            This thought has helped me to hold on and keep going when my social skills and dating life was just plain bad. It has helped me to continue on in my online business when things looked like they would never pick up. It has helped me to put one foot over another even when things looked dark.

                            I have found this thought to be very true. Why? Because when things seemed to be at the lowest for my blog, business, dating life or life in general, something positive would always happened. That’s probably because being at a low point forced me to change how I did things.

                            But maybe also because life has a way of evening itself out when I go on. By taking action rather than give up, something good will always happens.

                            Seeing this thought live itself out has strengthened my belief in staying optimistic, in taking action and to keep going even when going through rough patches.

                            Re-syndicated 9 Simple Habits to Stay Positive in Life | Personal Excellence

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                            Featured photo credit: Allie Smith via unsplash.com

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