Once upon a time, having email on your phone was the coolest thing ever.
(Heck, Blackberry built an empire on it… which it subsequently lost.)
Doing email on the go was cool. And you were a big deal if you answered emails while on-the-go.
Yet, at some point, mobile email changed. It transformed from a productive activity to a leash.
Suddenly, email became a nuisance that interrupts life 24/7.
Mobile Email: The Great Nuisance
If you think about it, do you really need email on your phone?
What do you actually get done?
“But, I have to respond to this email now,” I hear you say.
Are you truly creating value with your emails? Or are you feeding a stream of worthless communication that only serves to limit the action of others in your absence?
Are you jumping at each and every message that comes across? Interrupting your work and life to the point that you don’t know which is which.
Most emails are worthless. Inane back-and-forth about silly and simple topics. Topics that would be better served with less action. Things that can wait.
More Email, More Interruptions
The email situation is even worse if you have your phone set to notify you at each and every email.
I was recently in a meeting where an executive’s phone dinged 55 times during the conversation. (And those were just the ones after I started counting…)
Yet, would it be frowned upon if you didn’t have your work email on your mobile device?
I actually overheard a conversation recently in a corporate environment that was judging a particular employee based on the fact that they didn’t answer emails after hours. And (gasp) they didn’t even have email on their personal mobile phone.
The implication was that this employee wasn’t a hard worker or loyal because they were not reachable after hours.
Interesting, France has been in the news lately over a discussion about the “Right to Disconnect” from their mobile devices after leaving work.
It seems like we all could use a little “Right to Disconnect.”
You Don’t Need Email Everywhere
You don’t need to check your email all day long.
You don’t need to check it at dinner, in the bathroom, or driving in your car.
Reprioritize email in your life. Check it only a few times per day.
Try a little less email, and a little more intentional living.Question: Do you really need your work email on your phone? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
10 thoughts on “Do You Really Need Email on Your Phone?”
I do have email on my phone because when i have “dead” time like when i’m waiting in a long line i can read and answer some emails or at least think about them. sometimes my days are so busy i dont have other time for emails. what is important for me is to mute the notifications and its important for 2 reasons: 1. i dont think that my phone should make sound every 5 minutes and disturb other people around me and 2 because when i hear the notification im loosing focus and tempted to check it… so my solution is not completely remove it from the phone just mute it
I agree to a point. I have some contacts that only e-mail me and don’t text and sometimes these are important e-mails that need to be dealt with in a timely manner. Like Ella, I don’t allow notifications on my phone and after I check my e-mail, I close the app immediately. I will check it when I am able to (not constantly) and if I have the time, I immediately delete the very unimportant e-mails and deal with anything pressing – but most e-mails can wait until I am on my laptop where it is just easier to deal with them. I DO think it is extremely rude to be on your phone when you should be interacting with those around you so I will ignore even texts while I’m speaking with someone. We have become a society where everything is immediate and honestly, not everything that is “immediate” is important and it’s OK to let the phone ring and go to voicemail or to wait on that text and e-mail to deal with the person/people around us first. We certainly would think it rude should someone come up to us when we are in conversation and interrupt us and that is just what these devices can be doing. Prioritize and be respectful.
There’s a difference between checking and dealing with emails on your phone, and getting notifications about it. Turning off email notifications (and social media notifications), was one of the best things I’ve ever done to save my sanity.
Nice blog post! I couldn’t agree more. Emails aren’t so important that you should ignore the person sitting right in front of you.
As I am a worker who does not work solely in one office, I would say “yes” I do need email on my phone. Often I am traveling between buildings and campuses and I may not have access on my laptop to wireless. I look briefly at the notification to determine if I must address it immediately (by the way, my notification is silent). I wish others were as conscientious about returning email. I find the higher the level the administrator is, the more likely they are to ignore email or not return in timely manner. My goal is all calls and emails are answered within 24 hours.
I think the more important question is: do you really need to write that specific email or would it be easier to just grab a phone and make a call?
I once read a sign: “why make a phone call of 5 min if you can discuss it in 8 hrs of whatsapp messages?” And this is true for emails, too
Not only do I need e-mail on my phone, I need for others to have it on their phone. One of the major components of my job is helping people fill out certain federal forms. One of those forms require an electronic ID that is verified through the applicant’s e-mail. When the person is in my office, I always ask, “Can you get e-mail on your phone?” When the answer is in the affirmative, I always reply, “Great!” That makes my job so much easier.
We should really really evaluate the worth and importance of email. Given the comments i am suspicious (yes I am guilty too but working very hard to “detox”) that for many peope email is an addiction with all the negative effects of some other addictions. So thanks to the author for making us re-think our habits.
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