Should We Take Email Off Our Phones?
Two weeks ago I was sitting on the beach with friends and within 5 minutes of our arrival a tidal wave went over our heads, into our bags, and got us soaking wet – yes, it was a pretty funny scene. Of course, the first thing to be destroyed was my Iphone. I had it sitting in a tote bag that got drenched by the wave (clearly, a very high tide). I waited days for a replacement phone to come and turned on my old blackberry in the meantime. My old blackberry is pretty old and doesn’t have email functionality (anymore). It ended up taking over a week to get my new phone and I was stuck with my old phone in the interim.
At first, it was a stuggle, not having internet and email access while I was in the car and on the move. I’m a huge multi-tasker and like to accomplish as many things as I can at the same time. I also spent the weekend without email as I was on a mini-vacation and didn’t bring my computer. I had my kindle with me as an emergency back-up if any work situations presented themselves.
After the first few days, I started to notice my lack of email less and less. I found myself connected when I needed to be (during business hours in front of my computer) and not connected when I didn’t need to be. I wasn’t obsessively checking my phone while at the gym (always prevents a solid workout). I wasn’t checking my phone while at dinner with friends and I really didn’t check my phone all weekend. It was nice to disconnect and to have some personal time. I don’t really need to see emails that come in at midnight that aren’t urgent and are about the website. I think it actually hurts my ability to relax and zone out. Most entrepreneurs know how difficult it can be to seperate yourself from your business and “turn off”.
When I finally got my Iphone back this week, I was almost distrubed by the fact that I had my email on me at all times. It does make sense during the business day (during the work week) but on the weekends, I didn’t want to see emails coming through. I wanted to enhance my ability to disconnect and have some time to myself. And I found myself asking a friend if I should just disconnect my email on the weekends……hmmmm….why don’t we all disconnect every so often? What is so urgent in our cluttered inboxes? Are those emails really urgent? Are those emails really what’s important?