I just had a thought that moved me, so I thought I should share it with you too.
“Email is a privilege.”
As you know from my Email Intervention*, I feel it is my personal, purpose-filled duty (or you can even call it a “public service announcement”) to help people, especially self-employed people, extract their smart phone inboxes and blackberry blinking lights from their death grip.
I have been there myself for the past four years and it has led to a life that was out of balance. My work bled into my purpose, which bled into every facet of my life. I had a career that should have felt absolutely freaking incredible. But I honestly found it just “ho-hum.”
My problem wasn’t that I was in the wrong career, it was that I wasn’t able to separate myself from my career.
Now that I have not been checking emails on nights and weekends, my feelings towards the end of the week are mixed. On the one hand, I’m excited for the fun planned over the weekend. I’m excited to spend the weekend at Mr. Lively’s apartment (we call it the cottage), learning to play the guitar. And I’m excited to celebrate my cousin’s 30th birthday. Two days off from work will be nice and relaxing.
But on the other hand, I am a bit sad that I won’t be able to see my emails and “check in” on the business. I won’t know what exciting new opportunities are coming my way, I won’t know the customer service emails we will answer on Monday. I will simply have to wait until Monday, when I get to reconnect with what is happening at Jess LC.
Though that may seem irresponsible, the truth is, no one ever asked us to work 168 hours a week. We simply worry that other’s expect that of us, and feel compelled to constantly stay in the loop. We drive ourselves to stay so “in the know” that we never have a chance to wonder, to get excited.
My inbox is a privilege I get Monday through Friday, 9-5:30. It is an amazing tool that helps me work more efficiently. It helps me grow and drive my business. But it is also a privilege of my work – not an integral part of my personal life.
So rather than steal glances at my inbox while I’m walking over to Mr. Lively’s apartment this afternoon, I’ll be thinking about the produce I want to buy at the farmers market tomorrow.
And I already can’t wait to come back to work on Monday.
* The July Email Intervention pledge class ends on Monday night. There will be a new August Email Intervention coming up shortly. I hope you’ll join me.