october/november email intervention

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The time has come for another Email Intervention!

If you are new to MML you can catch up on my epiphany about why I didn’t really like my job (even though it’s awesome) and why email is a privilege. I strongly believe that the decision to not check email on nights and weekends has been an incredible life changing decision for myself. I believe it is the biggest way that I’ve designed my work/life balance with intention in recent years as well.

At first I thought it was impossible to go without checking email and even somehow “wrong.” But my experience over the past four months has told me quite the opposite.

Now that I limit my email to workdays I have more energy, look forward to work each morning, and am insanely more present in my personal life. I have (sort of) learned to play the guitar, sometimes get bored on weekend afternoons (which is fantastic, it gives me the chance to really look forward to work), and I don’t have the urge to check email at a restaurant table while my friend is in the bathroom.

Since doing the monthly two-week Email Interventions on MML, I’ve gotten some great feedback from other MML readers as well about their own experience:

Sarah’s Insights

“To get more accomplished and check email, I found myself waking up earlier, eager to see what had arrived the night before. My body clock is shifting, and that’s probably a good thing.

My favorite moment in the whole challenge: my non-smart-phone husband and I went on a date and he suggested leaving our phones at home. Normally, I would have said no. But the email challenge helped me say yes! I loved that, even for our quick dinner, we had each others’ full attention.”

Sarah

Erin’s Insights

“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.”

Erin

And if none of those motivations strike a chord, maybe Jon Acuff’s out of control inbox does.

Take the Email Intervention Two Week Pledge

For any or all of these reasons above, I hope that you will join me on a two week fast from email on nights and weekends between October 24th and November 7th. You can alter the Intervention slightly for your own personal reasons or even use the Intervention for sites like Facebook instead if that is something you struggle with taming. I just urge you to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and really re-engage with life outside your computer or smart phone.

And if you’ve already taken the pledge before, feel free to comment and do it again!

To be included on the intervention, please comment on this post before Friday, October 21st. I will be sending out four emails during the two weeks with tips and insights regarding the Intervention.

(And it’s all totally free, I see this as my Public Service Announcement.)

I hope you join and send this post to friends, family, or co-workers who might also be interested in breaking the email addiction!

 

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Please add me to the email intervention list. 🙂

  2. Jennifer

    Please add me to the email intervention list. 🙂

  3. What a great post by Jon Acuff! Thanks for sharing. I’ve done the intervention twice but could definitely use it again. I am slipping back into old habits! Last night we had already turned the lights off but I got out my phone and my husband was wondering why I thought I needed to check my email so late!

  4. What a great post by Jon Acuff! Thanks for sharing. I’ve done the intervention twice but could definitely use it again. I am slipping back into old habits! Last night we had already turned the lights off but I got out my phone and my husband was wondering why I thought I needed to check my email so late!

  5. Lexi

    I am really excited to start and complete this challenge! I kind of started my own not-checking-my-blackberry-repetitively-challenge a few weeks ago, but fell off the wagon. Looking to start again! 🙂

  6. Lexi

    I am really excited to start and complete this challenge! I kind of started my own not-checking-my-blackberry-repetitively-challenge a few weeks ago, but fell off the wagon. Looking to start again! 🙂

  7. Tracy

    Great idea. I truly think my vision is getting worse from squinting at my iPhone all night, after working on a laptop all day!

  8. Tracy

    Great idea. I truly think my vision is getting worse from squinting at my iPhone all night, after working on a laptop all day!

  9. Rebecca

    Count me in! I was very hesitant — dare I even said afraid? — to participate last time, which is exactly why I think I SHOULD do it this time around! Thanks for offering this again 🙂

  10. Rebecca

    Count me in! I was very hesitant — dare I even said afraid? — to participate last time, which is exactly why I think I SHOULD do it this time around! Thanks for offering this again 🙂

  11. anne

    I’d love to give this a shot! I am making a career move at the end of this week, so this will be a great way for me to stay focused on work when I’m working, and stay focused on myself, husband, family, etc… when I am not working. Exciting!

  12. anne

    I’d love to give this a shot! I am making a career move at the end of this week, so this will be a great way for me to stay focused on work when I’m working, and stay focused on myself, husband, family, etc… when I am not working. Exciting!

  13. Kristin

    Jess,

    Sign me up! I’m new to your website as of this week and your posting about this email intervention could not have arrived at a better time! My work/life/technology boundaries have become enormously blurred – I have been wanting to do this for the past few weeks, but didn’t have the accountability until I stumbled upon your blog to find an identical challenge. Thanks for providing me with such a great opportunity! I’m excited to see how this goes.

  14. Kristin

    Jess,

    Sign me up! I’m new to your website as of this week and your posting about this email intervention could not have arrived at a better time! My work/life/technology boundaries have become enormously blurred – I have been wanting to do this for the past few weeks, but didn’t have the accountability until I stumbled upon your blog to find an identical challenge. Thanks for providing me with such a great opportunity! I’m excited to see how this goes.

  15. Aileen

    I’m in…for me, it’s Facebook. It seriously needs a time limit. and to not be on my phone.

  16. Aileen

    I’m in…for me, it’s Facebook. It seriously needs a time limit. and to not be on my phone.

  17. Abbie

    I’d love to join the challenge/intervention! It’s waaaay past due for me. Thanks for doing this!

  18. Maddie

    It’s Friday, so I may be too late in signing up, but I should really be doing this for Facebook and blogs. My social media habit is definitely a time-suck!

  19. Maddie

    It’s Friday, so I may be too late in signing up, but I should really be doing this for Facebook and blogs. My social media habit is definitely a time-suck!

  20. This sounds great! While I’ve gotten better about not checking my work email at home, I could just to just cut out the checking FB/Twitter/Email because I’m bored and could be more productive, doing more things I love. (Or at least writing!)

  21. This sounds great! While I’ve gotten better about not checking my work email at home, I could just to just cut out the checking FB/Twitter/Email because I’m bored and could be more productive, doing more things I love. (Or at least writing!)

  22. Susan

    I’ve been trying this since May but to have some community will be great! Please add me!

  23. Susan

    I’ve been trying this since May but to have some community will be great! Please add me!

  24. whislerpotpie

    Just found your blog from the apartment therapy tour. This is a terrific idea. I’m in!

  25. whislerpotpie

    Just found your blog from the apartment therapy tour. This is a terrific idea. I’m in!

  26. Jess

    Thanks so much for joining the Email Intervention, Whislerpotpie! I have already closed the formal group email list, but you are free to join in without being on the list as well! And next time around (probably in December), please feel to comment to add yourself to the group before it begins :).

    Have a great day,
    Jess!

  27. Jess

    Thanks so much for joining the Email Intervention, Whislerpotpie! I have already closed the formal group email list, but you are free to join in without being on the list as well! And next time around (probably in December), please feel to comment to add yourself to the group before it begins :).

    Have a great day,
    Jess!

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