Turn your damn phone off

It is the holiday season and there is evidence that constantly checking your emails on your smart phone may be doing you some damage.

The secret to happiness is to turn off your smartphone email app according to psychologists, who warn that constant updates have become a “toxic source of stress”.

Technology that puts people at the continuous beck and call of their emails has created a culture where people feel they must be constantly available for work, according to research.

As a result, an “unwritten organisational etiquette” has become ingrained in the workplace and employees have developed habits which are bad for their emotional well-being.

Studies have found that continuously checking and reading emails due to a “push notification” feature, which alerts users to new messages even when they are not in their Mail app, produces tension and worry. Experts recommend that switching off the Mail app on your mobile device will alleviate anxiety.   

Authors of a report from the London-based Future Work Centre which conducts psychological research on people’s workplace experiences, said emails are a “double-edged sword” that provide a useful means of communication but can also be a source of stress.

Urging users to seize control of their email instead of being ruled by it, they suggest running the email application only when users intend using it.

The centre surveyed almost 2000 working people across a range of industries and occupations in the UK.

It found that two of the most stressful habits were leaving email on all day and checking mail early in the morning and late at night.

I used to constantly check my emails on my phone. Now I don’t.

Why?

Because it is annoying, and frankly they can wait. I made some changes in the way I operate some time ago…one of those was to ignore emails and almost never respond to them straight away. The biggest change I made was to not constantly check my emails…and ditching engaging people on Twitter.

What I used to find especially annoying was meeting someone for lunch or dinner, or even just a coffee, and sitting there watching them face down in their smart phone while they were supposed to be having a conversation with me. Not only was it rude but it was highly annoying.

So yes, sort yourself out and turn off your emails, at the very least while you are on holiday.

 

– NZ Herald


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