That's it! As of today, I'm done with conference calls and meetings. I'm breaking up with Twitter, dumping Google Plus and LinkedIn, and quitting email cold turkey.
According to McKinsey, the average knowledge worker spends 28 percent of their workweek managing e mail. We all need a digital detox from time to time and my time is now. When I return to work and plug in again after the new year, I will be recharged and more productive; hopefully, I'll be full of great ideas. But right now, I'm stepping back.
Here's what my Out of Office message will say to anyone who is so desperate, bored, and Type A that they are still working during these precious two weeks:
Thank you for your message. Our office is closed, so leave a message and we will respond on January 5th. Yes, you heard me right. Do not have a heart attack, but there is no back-up staff, as they too need a break, and no emergency number for you to call. Whatever it is, it can surely wait. We are burned out, stressed out, and fatigued and we are tired of being super über productive. We have much better things to do.
Here are some of the things that I will be doing.
Sleeping in. No rushing out of bed to check emails before sunrise and squeeze in a conference call before the morning commute. My mornings will be reserved for sprawling starfish style and enjoying the moment.
Exercise. Yes, I'm going to take long walks, play tennis, and go to the gym -and I'm not going to have to wake up at 5 a.m. to get it done before the workday starts; skip lunch and come back to the office all sweaty and hungry; or wait till the end of the day when I am completely exhausted and would much rather flop on the sofa.
Bake. When was the last time you took an afternoon off to bake sweets and treats, holiday cookies, cakes and other festive delights? How fun is it to take over the entire kitchen and make a delicious mess?
PJ party. I'm not just going to sleep late every morning. I'm going to lounge around the house in my fuzzy slippers all day, cozying up next to the fire, and playing with neglected pets and children.
Boob tube. We're going to be couch potatoes! Elf, Miracle on 34 Street, whatever holiday classics are on, we'll watch them. And I'm going to watch television in bed too.
Be a home town tourist. It's time to visit all those museums and galleries I keep hearing about, take in a concert, bring the kids to the aquarium and the zoo. It's my town, after all -- I deserve to enjoy it too.
Friends and family. Most of all, I'm going to reconnect with family and friends -- and not through Facebook and email, but face-to-face and in real life.
Holiday cheer. I'm going to drink and party and not worry about the next morning, because remember I'll be sleeping in and lounging all day! And most importantly ringing in the New Year with it.
So from now until January 5, Please Do Not Disturb!
Here's wishing you and your family a Merry Holiday and a Happy New Year!