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  • Writer's pictureBelinda M

OOO = Out of Office email Challenge

Regular readers of my email newsletter WorkStyle by design (wbd) will know that when I go on an extended break from the office, I have a distinctive Out of Office (OOO) email message. Initially, this took courage to send.

Do you have the courage to do this?

The beauty of this is that when you get back to the office/home you don’t have 100′s and 100′s of emails to go through. We all know this dreaded task drains any energy you may have gained from the vacation itself.

I’ve used this OOO message dozens of times now and 99% of the responses/comments I receive are positive, acknowledging me for taking this stand and modelling a self-care strategy. It really takes courage to do. I was scared the first time I did, but now it is second nature.

Sure 1% of folks don’t like it, but hey, you can’t please all the people all the time and I choose to prioritise my recreation and rejuvenation. Will you?

What do I send? Here is my OOO message:

Thank you for emailing Belinda MacInnes of Belinda M Pty Ltd, and the Professional Coach’s Business System Revisited.

I am currently on winter vacation. During this time I WILL NOT be checking my email. As part of practising my WorkStyle, I WILL BE DELETING ALL EMAILS on my return (yes, truly!) so if your email is important and you want me to read it, please resend it to me after 9am on Monday 25 July 2022 when I am back in my office.

In the meantime, please…

Be Well. Relate Whole-heartedly 💕




Belinda MacInnes MCC

Master Coach

Belinda M Pty Ltd

IG: @belindamacinnes_mcc

Do you have the courage to send this, or a similar message?

When I get home, I do ensure that I have time set aside to glance over my emails before I hit delete. Some emails are auto-generated from institutions (ie: the ATO Australian Tax Office; insurance renewals; etc..) so I do a quick glance to see if there are any that I may need to set aside and read in a future TIME BLOCK called “online reading”.

Once I’ve determined if there are any emails that I need to eventually read, I hit delete. This is very satisfying. I do encourage you to do it 😉

Now I trust that any important emails from individuals (not auto-generated bots) will arrive in my inbox on the first morning I return to the office. I have a TIME BLOCK that day to read and respond to these emails individually in a timely manner. I want to honour and respect the senders who have resent them to me as their email is important.

So there you have it. How to enjoy your holiday and not have the dreaded screens of emails on your return. This takes courage, discipline and willingness to do it.

Now, over to you. Do you have the courage to send this, or a similar message?

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this strategy or if you want any support or accountability as you set your distinctive and courageous OOO message. I’m just an email away... after my holiday of course 😎

PS - don't forget to download my free “21st Century Time Blocking – What, Why and How” resource here


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