The phone as a source of anxiety
After I get back from work in the night, I check my email sporadically till I crash. I realize I do this only to ensure I am not missing out on some urgency that may have reared its ugly head. However, I feel a certain degree of anxiety every time I do so.
One Saturday evening, when I was chilling with a dear friend, I ended up checking my email and voila — I had an urgent query from a senior. I apologized to my friend for what I was about to do next — dug myself in my phone to send a cogent reply to my senior ( a tedious task when you’re three large pegs of Glenlivet down ).
When I got done, my friend commented — “dude, cannot believe you have work email set up on your phone.” Aghast, I questioned what was wrong with that, and commented that it was abnormal NOT to have office email set up on phone. Therein followed a healthy debate for 30 minutes on what was right — to have office email set up on phone or not.
On reflecting, my takeaways were :
- there is not much to be gained by checking email, especially if you are already clocking 12 hours at work … If any urgency arises, people can always call you
- a lot of it is expectation setting. If over time, you set expectation that you need to be called in case of emergencies instead of email, people will come around and reach you on your phone
- while it is tough to leave work at work, it can be learned over time. Trick is to practice the habit of walking away from email
So I’ve now begun my journey of not checking email once I leave office. Let’s see how far I succeed
What do you think?