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Keep Work in Check on Vacation

Today, we're continuing our series on achieving a healthier work-life balance with our second tip.

For the first ten years of my orchestra management career, it was hard to unplug from work. There was always something that needed my attention (or so I thought).

Every time I heard the chime on my phone alerting me to an incoming work email, I most likely read it right away. Of course, doing so can draw you into a black hole where nothing can escape.

That might be a little dramatic, but not too far off the mark. 


Obviously, this was not the sign of a healthy work-life balance. And yet, I was still the CEO, and work didn't just stop because I was on vacation. 

Turn Off Notifications

I accepted that I would not completely unplug, but that didn't mean staying plugged in all the time.

So as soon as my vacation started, I turned off my work email on all devices.

Set a Brief, Designated Time to Check Emails

I set a time, usually in the evening, when I allowed myself to turn my work email on to see if there was anything that couldn't wait until I was back in the office.  

Prioritize Urgent Messages


I usually responded to one or two emails a day, just to keep a project moving forward, but left everything else until after I returned.

I also told my team this is what I would do, so if they needed me for something, they knew when to expect a reply. 


This one habit was a gamechanger for me.

I didn't have to wonder if everything was okay back at the office, and it only took 15 minutes a day from my vacation time—far less time than it used to.

These simple yet powerful strategies will help you stay on top of your responsibilities without sacrificing your vacation. 


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