So hard to really disconnect

Quick question: Do you take your mobile phone with you when you go on leave?

If your answer is a nodding yes (like most of us), here’s the follow-up: Ever find yourself sneakily checking work emails during that precious downtime?

Don’t sweat it; you’re not alone. Statistics say two-thirds of us can’t resist a quick glance at our work inbox, even when we’re supposed to be unwinding.

Bonjour, in this video, I want to share three straightforward tactics to help you truly disconnect during your well-deserved break. 

Currently, I’m enjoying the Aussie sun at my local beach North Curl Curl and for the first time in three years, we are spending Christmas here in Australia. Christmas holidays is near and as we gear up for a well-deserved break, I’ve been chatting with clients who find it hard to switch off completely, especially from the ever-persistent emails. 

And let’s be real, checking your inbox on vacation not only eats into your precious downtime but also throws you back into work mode in a flash.

Here are my three strategies to help you disconnect when on your leave: Plan, Communicate, Protect. 

Plan: Take some time before you leave to plan how things will roll while you’re away. Trust me; many skip this step, overwhelmed by the pre-holiday rush. Consider: What’s the game plan for your key projects? Do you need someone to manage your emails? Also, decide if you’re going full digital detox or need to keep an eye on a crucial project. 

Communicate: This is key. Talk to your team, discuss your absence, and ensure everyone’s on the same page. A nifty trick I heard involves putting a unique spin on your out-of-office message. There’s the classic “out until X date, for urgent matters, contact Y.” Or this spin from a CEO of a big retail company: “On leave until X date, no access to email. For urgent matters, call my wife at [number].” Works like magic and I can tell you he gets zero calls during his leave. 

Protect: First, protect yourself during your break. Try a radical move—temporarily disconnect the email tool on your mobile. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Another golden nugget: Return to work mid-week. Take Monday to fully bask in vacation mode, work from home on Tuesday to ease back in, and then hit the ground running on Wednesday. It’s a game-changer for managing that inbox backlog. 

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip.  

So, my question for you is this: Do you genuinely disconnect when you’re on leave? 

Wishing you a lovely Christmas break and a stress-free vacation! 

A bientôt,


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