How to stop checking email when you should be hanging with the family

Filed under: That's Entertainment

I'm guilty of it: the furtive Saturday-morning email check, done between sips of coffee as I guiltily let Nolan crunch and apple and watch fifteen minutes of ear-grating Barney. And I'm also guilty of obsessive Blackberry checking: during a recent walk through the forest to the ocean beach and fresh-baked honey donuts, I checked my email three times -- basically, every time it vibrated.

I don't feel more knowledgeable and equipped to perform my job when I check my email on the weekend. Instead I feel guilty that I'm distracted by what needs to be done at work when I should be focusing on more important things: a sunny Saturday in the trees, with my son. And yet the vibrating of my Blackberry, the chime on email on my inbox are almost addictively compelling.

That's why I was exceedingly grateful to stumble upon this article at Lifehacker, which provides excellent tips for "How to Stop Checking Your Email on the evenings and weekends." It's timely: it seems so many of us have increasingly blurred the line between work and home, now that corporate email can be set up on home computers, now that so many of us have home offices.

All 8 tips are succinct and useful, but the ones that resonated most to me:
  • Don't use your inbox for reminders or as a to-do list (I'm so guilty of this one)
  • Learn to make suggestions instead of asking questions in your emails.
  • Don't "bif" (before I forget) people during off hours (also guilty of this)
The goal lesson of the tip list: get out of the office by 5. And enjoy what you work so hard to enjoy.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.