We spend our days in an “immediate gratification” lifestyle. We check our smart phones when we’re away from our computers and we document our moves by “checking in”. There is an almost unspoken expectation of “availability”, and the people you’re communicating with will, no doubt get right back to you.
But, taking a vacation for many has one specific purpose; to get away and unwind without the responsibility of the office and work. You can completely unplug if you do a few things. Let those who report to you or those you report to know that you will be unreachable and you are not going on a stay-cation. Tell them you will be “turning it all off” (Only you need to know you’re too attached to your iPhone to leave it behind). If the people who rely on you or those you rely on know you can not be reached, they will be prepared. Remember, the office will not fall to pieces while you are on your holiday away. If you really want an experience, turn off your smart phones, power down your laptop and leave it behind!
If you can not completely go old-school, then schedule a specific and desired amount of time that you will be available to answer emails or conference call, on your terms. And, limit the time!