Tuesday May 20th, 2014, 9:43 pm
Whilst Sheryl Sandberg in ‘Lean In’ urges us to work full on, others such as Arianna Huffington have recognised the effect lack of sleep can have on ones well being, creativity and overall productivity – see ‘Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life’. If billionaire’s with all the support they need are struggling what hope is there for us mere mortals? France and Germany are attempting to address the situation by passing a law prohibiting managers sending employers work emails after 6.00 pm.
Yet in the 24x7x365 many feel they must remain connected at all times, a fact highlighted at several recent Smart Email Management workshops we have run over the last few weeks. Many feel that their clients expect them to be available and respond to emails no matter what time of day. But do they? Is this more about either a perception that they are the only ones who can deal with the situation whatever that might be or a chronic case of email addiction.
My personal opinion is that it is a combination of both which is damaging to ones work performance and personal life and not least your sex life. We all need a certain amount of privacy and down time. Here are my five top tips to improve the quality of both ones sleep and hence performance (at work and home) by switching off from email.
- Check your level of email addiction
- Discuss with your manager ways to take a break – for example delegate access to others and especially if you are in front line operations.
- Set a boundary after which time you no longer read emails eg after 9.30 pm. (VW recently stopped pushing emails from managers to employees mailboxes.) If you use your phone to pick up work emails – there will be a switch to stop having them pushed at you. Find it.
- Leave all your mobile devices outside the bedroom door (from ipad to iphone).
- Use your Out of Office message (auto reply) to manage senders expectations.
It’s interesting that research we conducted revealed that it is generally internal senders who expect the quickest reply. It is probably these internal senders who also are driving up the 24x7x365 culture and not the clients themselves.
What is your opinion? Do you ever disconnect from email for more than three hours? If so, what is the impact on you and your business?
If either you or your colleagues need help with email addiction please call us to help how we have helped others reduce their email addiction and improve their performance and work-life balance.