Taking an e-mail break

What’s the worst thing about going on a vacation? How about coming back to a crammed e-mail inbox? Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent this, and Jonathan Feldman, a contributing editor at InformationWeek lets you know how.

The helper

First, Feldman writes, you’ll want to find a helper where you work, someone who is able to handle your e-mail messages when you’re away. It is not exactly a sought-after job, so you’ll have to promise to do the same thing for your helper when they are away.

Preventive measures

Before your vacation, inform your colleagues and friends that you’re going on vacation. Make clear that a co-worker will be handling your e-mails while you’re gone. And, yes, explain that this means another person besides you will be reading your e-mail. Make sure to set up your e-mail rules so that your messages go directly to your helper.

A happy return

When you come back to work, you should be coming back to an organized e-mail inbox. Your helper should have read your messages, placed them in labeled folders based on their importance and left you notes on any e-mails that require your immediate attention. Just remember: When your co-workers go on vacation, you’ll have to do the same for your helper.

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