We often discuss the danger of being burned out, and we encourage you to protect the time you need to take care of yourself. However, we do realize that it is easier said than done, especially with the ubiquity of smart phones. When you are passionate about your work, ease of access to that work can sometimes be a hindrance to your performance and dilute your passion.

Receiving your email on your phone seems like a great way to be the best employee and impress your boss and your clients with the speed of your responses. There is nothing wrong with these quick response times during work hours as long as the speed of your responses is not hurting the content or presentation of your responses. However, unless absolutely necessary, employees and employers both should limit their access to work emails outside of work hours. It is important to turn off from work and recharge in order to bring your best possible and most passionate self to work.

Additionally, you may find you increase your productivity throughout the work day if you limit your email access to specific times. Often email controls our days if we let it. We sit down to focus on a task, then notifications on our phones or computers or both distract us from our work goals. We find ourselves pulled from task to task, response to response, based solely on what rolls into our inbox. By the end of our work day, our original task is left mostly untouched. Instead of being pulled to and fro by email, leave checking your email to certain times of the day. Make your daily list of tasks before opening your email, and only adjust it for priority senders. Give yourself solid blocks of time (an hour or two) to work without the inference of email. Stick to your goals for the day.

The combination of never completely being disconnected from work and often being diverted from our tasks by email can quickly lend itself to burnout. Often there is a pressure to answer your email just because you can, even though it is outside of work hours. Establish those boundaries for yourself. The smart phone can make employees feel like they are working all of the time, but also that they are not accomplishing substantive goals. Remember, if you have the type of position which allows you to unplug, then take advantage of that. Unplug from your smart phone for a bit.



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