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Connect or disconnect? That is the question.
Thursday, 30th June 2011
Being connected 24/7 is, as we all know, a double-edged sword, especially when it comes to vacations and holidays! It’s “that time of year” for many people and quite a few articles with tips on staying connected, or disconnecting while on holiday have appeared. Entrepreneur magazine discusses ways to keep your marketing efforts robust while you’re away and out of the office. Jeremiah Owyang, the social media, web marketing strategist provides tips on “how” to actually take a vacation in such a highly connected world.
So, decisions must be made. Do you or do you not take vacations? When we’re busy we all know how it’s often necessary to work twice as hard before we leave and the same when we return. If you choose to go and really want to disconnect, keep some of Jeremiah’s tips in mind.
- Plan to have colleagues cover for you and vice versa. Inform your customers, clients, partners ahead of time that you will be unavailable and tell them who will help them in your absence.
- Unplugging can be hard. However, if you go to a place where there is no option to plug in (imagine an island in Fiji), it’s easier. If you have no discipline, have your carrier cut off your access.
- Even if you are out of the office and unplugged, your mind will still habitually think about work, so actively spend time doing something completely different that takes your mind off the usual thought processes.
- IF you still cannot stop thinking about work, make sure you jot down those “mustn’t forget creative ideas” in a notepad and then forget about them until you return to work.
Now, IF you do still need to have your marketing continue in your absence, which is often the case for consultants and small companies, then try some of Gail Goodman’s tips from the Entrepreneur article.
- Keep your email newsletters shorter and write them in advance.
- Pre-schedule your social media postings. On Twitter and Facebook you can write things ahead by using HootSuite.
- Set your “auto reply” to say “we’re open for business” but direct the person to someone covering for you.
- If you can’t totally disconnect look into using NutshellMail which will consolidate a number of social media outlets and send to your phone and, if you have to work, schedule a limited amount of time to attend to work and keep to it.
CNN Money magazine says that $67 billion worth of vacation time is NOT used by American workers. In fact, the American workforce is less likely than those in many countries to actually use up their vacation, even though US workers receive less time per year from employers than in other countries.
As a dual British/US citizen, I find myself wishing I had as much time off as I had when living in Britain, but actually I often don’t use what’s available to me. Hmm. I need to think about this. I’ll put that on my schedule on my BlackBerry to do something about soon …when I have time! Enjoy your summer.
By Jan Knight
Jan Knight is an independent market research consultant and President of Bancroft Information Services. She provides customised business intelligence and secondary market research to consultants and companies in all industries. Her work helps to shape business plans, marketing strategies and new business development for a diverse set of clients including start-ups, technology companies, marketing strategists, and small and medium businesses.
She is a frequent presenter on market research topics at the Arizona Center for Innovation, the Technology Business Incubator associated with the University of Arizona in Tucson. Jan holds an MA in Information Resources & Library Science from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. in Renaissance/Humanities Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Originally from England, Jan moved to Tucson in 1984 and has worked in both the advertising/marketing and publishing industries before starting her own business in 2001.
Jan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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