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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 April 14, 2021

                            How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

                            How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

                            We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

                            Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

                            Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

                            Expressing Anger

                            Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

                            Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

                            Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

                            Being Passive-Aggressive

                            This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

                            Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

                            This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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                            Poorly-Timed

                            Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

                            An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

                            Ongoing Anger

                            Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

                            Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

                            Healthy Ways to Express Anger

                            What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

                            Being Honest

                            Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

                            Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

                            Being Direct

                            Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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                            Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

                            Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

                            Being Timely

                            When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

                            Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

                            Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

                            How to Deal With Anger

                            If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

                            1. Slow Down

                            From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

                            In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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                            When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

                            2. Focus on the “I”

                            Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

                            When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

                            3. Work out

                            When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

                            Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

                            Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

                            If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

                            4. Seek Help When Needed

                            There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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                            5. Practice Relaxation

                            We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

                            That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

                            Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

                            6. Laugh

                            Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

                            7. Be Grateful

                            It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

                            Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

                            During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

                            Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

                            More Resources on Anger Management

                            Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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