You’ve got mail

One of the things I dread when I go back to work after some annual leave is the size of the email in box. I refuse to log in when I’m on leave or my day off. If I’m not at work, I’m not at work.

To some in managerial positions that might seem like sacrilege. Surely if you’re a manager you should be available all the time. Well, no. I’m available the hours to which I am contracted to and for what you pay me, and if the work you are asking me to do falls outside of that, then we need to have a serious conversation.

I have done my fair share of ridiculous hours, weekends, nights, earlies etc. Been on call, been on conference meetings, and been in for meetings on my day off and all sorts. The trouble is, the more you do it, the more it becomes expected, and the more you get in the habit of doing it, and don’t switch off.

I do make some concessions. If a meeting absolutely has to take place on my day off and its imperative that I’m there, I will of course support it if I can. But I ensure I get that time back.

I have so much else going on in life outside of work too that I can’t afford to do it. My brain would explode.

There should be nothing that either can’t be dealt with by someone else, or that can’t wait until I get back.

My role as a manager and leader is to equip my staff to be self sufficient and confident to deal with most eventualities, and I should not be a bottleneck in the way.

So, 305 emails in the inbox after 1 week off. A chunk of those are routine and can be dispatched fairly promptly. That took me down to 206 by lunchtime. Then there’s the ones that I do need to read but don’t necessarily have to do anything with or about. Then there’s the ones that do require input.

By the end of the first day back I’ve got them down to a manageable 31. And don’t forget, more were coming in throughout the day too.

Another day tomorrow and another new bunch of emails to wade through.


One thought on “You’ve got mail

  1. Good luck with that. Mr only had 169 but managed to get them all done by the end of day one. But he’s not a manager 🙄


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