Today I’d like to announce the second installment of the MML Email Intervention! You may remember from the last Intervention, I have had several a-ha moments throughout this journey to rid myself of emails on nights and weekends. Including the fact that I used to work 119 hours a week.
This new shift has allowed me so much more presence in my off time that I’ve even taken up a new hobby – learning guitar! (Mr. Lively is a very patient man as I play Walk the Line‘s intro over and over and over…)
Below is an email I got from Erin, an MML Email Intervention participant from July. She shares the lessons that she learned from stepping away from the inbox.
Erin’s Email Intervention Story
I recently moved into a new position this past March and since then I have been so busy that overtime was becoming the norm and I was often checking my emails constantly throughout the day and night. Sometimes I found myself checking my emails every 15 minutes. In my mind, it’s what was expected of me and what was necessary for my position as a recruiter.
Then I learned about your Email Intervention and I read about your many reasons behind it and I realized that I didn’t need to be available 24/7 for my job. In fact I shouldn’t be that available. I needed a jolt to remind me that it was a job. I should put my 40 hours in each week and use the rest of my time to focus on my personal, social and spiritual life.
Throughout the two week intervention I sometimes found myself opening my work email and beginning to log in. It was so weird because I didn’t even think about it. Suddenly my brain would start thinking about work and suddenly I was opening up my email. Because of your intervention though I would catch myself rather than allowing myself to become absorbed by my job at all hours of the night. So there I would sit, staring at the log in page and asking myself, “why?”.
Why did I feel a sudden need to check my work email…
Was I hoping to get something done? Not really.
Was I looking to fill the time with something random? Yes, sometimes it was nice to have something to do rather than fill that time with something meaningful for me.
Was it necessary? Not at all.
Did it cause problems? Actually, yes it did. My boyfriend repeatedly mentioned that I checked my work email too often and I noticed that even though I would plan on just “seeing what was in there” I found myself responding to emails and working on projects for 30, 40, 50 minutes and suddenly I was working and worried about projects and deadlines and everything else.
Essentially, this bad habit was taking away from my personal time, and you know what? My manager wasn’t demanding or even asking me to check my email every night.
So, when I signed up for your email intervention I went cold turkey. Once I left the office I left work with it. I didn’t check my emails at night or early in the morning before heading in. There was one moment of weakness when I actually logged in but once I saw the emails staring back at me I closed out and walked away from my laptop.
Since I don’t check my work emails at home I found that I don’t think about work which is great! I don’t worry about who is responding or what has happened in the office after hours. Instead, I spend more time writing my blog, reading books, catching up on my Google Reader, stretching, listening to music, and genuinely feeling a bit lighter.
So thank you. Thank you for showing me that I don’t need to check my work emails all the time and that my personal time is just that – a time for me to grow, rest and enjoy all of the other aspects of my life.
Thank you for everything.
A grateful friend,
August Email Intervention
The Pledge: To not check email (or your tech distraction of choice) on nights and weekends for two solid weeks. You may tweak this to work for your life, but it’s Scout’s honor that you keep your pledge with the rest of us in the group.
The Dates: August 15th – August 29th
To Enter: Comment on this post by Thursday, August 11th to be included. Yes, you may enter multiple Email Interventions.
The Bonus: I will send out four emails throughout the challenge to discuss tips, tricks, and lessons learned from reducing inbox intake.
Of course, there is no price or anything, this is what I consider my “public service announcement.” My goal is to get 1,000 people to take the pledge.