Since internet started becoming available on mobile phones several years ago, I have set up my email accounts on my phones. This allowed me to check my personal emails and work emails on the move. An essential part of being a productive internet marketer, right?
Over the years, I have realised that having the ability to check email on the move does not help me be more productive. My old blackberry phone was ok at writing emails, but all smartphones I have owned are terrible for writing long messages.
There are times when having email on the move has been useful. For example, I frequently reply to important messages that I am out and will reply to them the following day. Therein lies the problem. Mobiles are not good devices for having long email conversations. You need a computer for that. What mobiles are perfect for are reading email and letting others that you are not at your desk.
Do You Need to Be Connected to Your Work when You Are Away from the Computer?
The longer you work online, the more you realise how important it is to spend quality time away from the computer; and it is difficult to do that if you are always connected.
Boone Gorges spoke about this recently and has decided not to configure email on his phone. I can fully understand why he is doing this. It is easy to say that you will only check your email in important situations, however when you have an email app on your phone, there is always the temptation to check your mail.
In my experience, no good ever comes from checking email whilst I am out because I cannot do anything about it. If an email is not important, then no harm will come from replying a day or two later. If an email is important, what are you going to do? Do you wait until you are back at your computer the next morning and reply as you would have anyway; or do you ruin your night and rush back to your house in order to address the email you received?
A more likely scenario is to simply reply to the email the next day as you had planned. The problem with checking email when you are out with your friends, is that you are now thinking of the impending problem you need to address the next day, rather than enjoying yourself.
Once you realise that you cannot be productive whilst you are out, it makes sense to follow Boon Gorges’s example and not configure your email application. You can of course still access your email through your mobile browser, however you will be less likely to check your email frequently if you do have the app on your home screen.
For those of you who do have internet access on your mobile phone, I encourage you to review your mobile email usage. Ask yourself this: Do you really need to access email whilst you are away from your work computer?
If you are honest with yourself, I am positive that most of you will come to the conclusion that you do not. Enjoy yourself when you are away from your desk and restrict work to your normal working hours. You will enjoy life more when you do.
Thanks for reading,