We had a tip back in our January Manager’s To-Do List that bears repeating now: Take time to “dump your bacn.” Those are the dozens of email newsletters you’ve subscribed to but rarely -- if ever -- read. They’re known as “bacn,” since they’re not quite spam, but close enough.
I’m taking my own advice: I’m on vacation next week, so I’ve spent the past week unsubscribing to many of the newsletters and commercial lists clogging my personal email box. Many are worthwhile, but a big inbox slows searches and makes my head hurt. I can always re-subscribe later.
I can’t jettison business email as easily, but on my return, I’ll remember: the delete button is my friend. I’ll read the important messages and file or discard the rest.
And forget about social media. For years, I’ve totally unplugged from Facebook for eight or nine days in the middle of July. Sure, I might have the impulse to post a photo or two, but it’s too easy to get caught up in news feeds or check back to see who “likes” my post ... so I just stay offline altogether and let the world turn without me for a while. It’s a great mental health break!
If you post on social media for work, it’s easy to write future posts in advance via Facebook’s “schedule post” feature or TweetDeck. Better yet, designate an employee as social media manager, or hire a social media consultant to keep the updates flowing when you have other things to do.
Finally, if you’re reading this and you have not yet scheduled a summer vacation, do it -- even if it means closing for a few days the first week of August, or even if you need to plan it for September after the back-to-school rush. Don't worry about doing something elaborate: Just hit the beach, the mountains or the open road (and turn off your electronic devices once you get there). You deserve the break, and you’ll return to work refreshed and ready to serve your patients and customers with a smile.