Three weeks ago I started a weekly ritual which has become known as No Email Saturdays. At first it was hard to adjust. I found myself wanting to check my email just in case I got something important. Then I realized that it’s perfectly realistic to make myself unavailable for 1/7 of the week.
It’s not as easy as you think. Chances are, you’re more connected than you realize. I was.
The first two weeks I made the resolution not to check my email yet I found myself checking my iPhone to see how many emails I had received that I couldn’t read. That was bad. Like staring at a mosquito bite just wanting to scratch it.
This past Saturday I turned all of my email accounts off for the day. No badges on my phone, no vibrations or sounds. It was better but still I found myself occasionally thinking about what emails I might have gotten (I was particularly curious because I was waiting for an email from TechStars about an internship for this summer).
Each week is getting easier. I want to expand No Email Saturdays to No Email Weekends.
For those interested in starting No Email Saturdays, the best advice I can give is to just jump in.
- You don’t need to be available 24/7. Take some time for yourself.
- Ask yourself, “Is what comes into my inbox on Saturday really that important?”
If it makes you feel more secure about your departure from email for the day you can alert anyone who sends you an email that you won’t be available until the following day. This can be done quickly in Gmail by composing a vacation responder in the Settings menu.
If you give No Email Saturdays a try, let me know how it goes in the comments.
Give it a go, what have you got to lose?