Boundaries for people who aren’t good with boundaries, Part 3. (You don’t always have to check your work email.)

You don’t always have to check your work email.

At some point, during each school day, you should check it.  But don’t have it linked up to your phone so you get alerts each time you get a new email on your work account.  How many emails do you get related to work that are great news that makes you feel less stressed?  I would venture to say none of them.  You don’t need that stress constantly interrupting your personal life, your sleep, your time off.

I personally am kind of an email-checking addict.  Or just a stuff-checking addict.  It is the curse of the smartphone.  I do not, however, have my work email set to alert me every time I get a new email.  It’s not even one of the apps on my phone.  If I want to check it from my phone, I have to manually open a new browser page and log in on a tiny screen.  If an alert popped up on my phone every time I got a new work email, I would never be able to mentally escape it, because people send all kinds of emails about various things at all hours.  Get some rest, take some space, and choose when you want to be alerted of all things work.

I also personally do not check work email until Sunday evening on the weekends, just to keep abreast of what my co-teachers are doing the next day and to see if there is any urgent thing I need to know about for Monday.  If I need to make copies of a handout, it is good to know on Sunday night so I can plan accordingly on Monday morning.  However, this is the only time that I check work email after I leave work on Friday afternoon, except in the case of some very special circumstance.

I also do not like to check emails on days that I stay home sick, because I probably stayed home sick because I need to recover from work.  I send the email in the morning letting the school know I will not be in, and then I do not check it until the next day.  We all need mental as well as physical breaks.

This is a pretty common problem with work emails nowadays, and I think that this could be applied to anyone.  If you don’t have to teach a lesson on Monday morning for your job, I would suggest not even checking work email until Monday morning.  Work when you’re at work.  Be home when you’re at home.

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