Post-Vacation Time-Saver — Or Don’t Let Your In-Box Scare You

gmail-in-box post-vacation

Don’t let your post-vacation in-box scare you!

The post-vacation blues — otherwise known as post-vacation overwhelm, might be a familiar feeling to you right about now. So, how do you manage?

Well, for starters, don’t panic. Lots of folks re in the same boat. So patience, and a good helping of compassion, will go a long way toward helping you through this transition.

And as much as technology can make our lives easier, your overflowing in-box probably isn’t helping you stay calm at the moment.

So here’s one idea to help you through, as you re-adjust to the daily rhythms of your work life.

Post-Vacation In-Box Management

Depending on how long you’ve been away, you may have been deluged with e-mails. As you survey the list, it’s easy to feel like each and every one is crying out for your attention.

So, this is a very good time to remember that you have tools available to sort and filter your e-mails. You can use these tools in a variety of ways:

  • Sort by subject line to group all e-mails on the same subject together. This is very helpful if you work with a team and may have lots of discussion about particular threads.
  • Then, within those groupings, you can sort by date-received. This allows you to see the most current response.
  • Often, the above two steps then enable you to delete the earlier e-mails on a particular subject. But check before you do this — you want to make sure that the latest e-mail contains all of the previous discussion.  (It usually will.)

Taking these steps will usually significantly reduce the number of e-mails you’ve got in your in-box. That, in turn, will significantly reduce your stress, making your post-vacation re-entry a much more manageable process for you.

So, if you’re just getting back from vacation – or even returning to a busy office after a weekend off-line, I hope you’ll give these quick tips a try.

And to learn more about the gifts of energy, time and meaning that my unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System offers and begin your transformational journey sign up for my FREE Finding Time Success Kit. Jump-start your productivity and learn that 24-hours really are enough!


  1. Dear Paula, again, great tips here! Indeed, it always feels like each e-mail is crying out for immediate response. I think it is also important for us to remember that immediate response to e-mails is rarely necessary–or possible.

    • Hi David – I whole-heartedly agree, and am glad that you found the tips helpful. It’s ironic that so many of our time-saving tools actually add to the pressure to be available and/or respond immediately — and to do that 24/7. Time boundaries are crucial — sometimes most crucial when it comes to our own expectations of ourselves. Thanks for stopping by, as always, and hope you have a good week!

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