It’s Fine to not Check Your Email

Stop compulsively checking your email. Frequent checking of one’s inbox will lead to stress for a few reasons so it’s best to schedule your email checking to every couple of hours or so (depending on your job). By limiting how often you look in your inbox you will be able to focus on other tasks and actually get things done. And getting things done and off you your todo list will lead to less stress.

So relax and don’t let your inbox be your boss.

Checking email less often may reduce stress in part by cutting down on the need to switch between tasks. An unfortunate limitation of the human mind is that it cannot perform two demanding tasks simultaneously, so flipping back and forth between two different tasks saps cognitive resources. As a result, people can become less efficient in each of the tasks they need to accomplish. In addition to providing an unending source of new tasks for our to-do lists, email could also be making us less efficient at accomplishing those tasks.

Indeed, although the participants in our study sent and received roughly the same number of emails during both weeks, they reported doing so in approximately 20 percent less time during the week when they checked their email less frequently. Constantly monitoring our inboxes promotes stress without promoting efficiency. When it comes to checking email, less might be more.

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One thought on “It’s Fine to not Check Your Email

  1. Who has time to check their email. I mean somebody might tweet something while you’re doing that.

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