vacation strategies


There are some jobs where vacations are a straight-out myth. If you’re the CEO of a public company or the leader of a country, you can be out there golfing but let’s be honest, vacation? Nah. Chances are very good that at least once a day something significant enough to require your involvement will pop up. Salmonella recall, North Korea, something.

The rest of us need to get a life and take vacations without checking emails or thinking about work.

By “rest of us” I mean me.

I have become so much better at letting work drift out of my mind when I am away, I will give myself that. But even last week on a nice trip to Newfoundland with our daughter, a couple of times I got worked up about something I spotted coming in on email. Argh!! I ended up semi-dealing with it and that really doesn’t make sense.

I have children I adore, a cat who has me wrapped around her tail, and a house that could burn down with all its contents. Do I worry about these people or possessions when Andrew and I are away? Not a bit because I know there is always that device…what is it called now…oh yes, a phone…whereby I can be reached at anytime in an emergency. Andrew also has this device and people looking for me would quickly call him if I didn’t answer.

I know my focus on work – currently Prairie Girl – goes back to my family’s focus on it and I don’t even mind that I was raised to work hard. Working hard has its perks. But I am determined to come up with strategies for leaving emails and work-think alone during breaks. In September we are taking our first 8 day holiday since opening PGB – to Italy! – so I am motivated.

Some ideas that come immediately to mind are:

  • use an out of office alert – I always did this when I worked at a bank but rarely have since opening my own business
  • literally turning off emails on my phone so I don’t see them come in (out of sight, out of mind)
  • telling people who would email/call if anything big happened  that I won’t have email turned on so to use texts/calls if they need to read me
  • #1 strategy: deliberately turn my mind away from a work-related path before it goes too far. Once I am deep into thought on a work issue, it’s hard to turn back. 

That is all I have…please let me know if you have a vacation strategy that works for you!




About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


To receive email notifications of new blog posts, please subscribe below.



Hello, You!

I’m so glad you are here.

Sign up to receive my posts and you will never miss one. (and by the way - absolutely no other marketing-type emails will be sent your way!)

- Jean