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No Email After 5: The New Rule for Mental Health

If you feel like your email is running your life, Forbes suggests giving it a timeout. That means cutting off emails at the end of your work day, and making parameters around which emails may be checked throughout the day. While it may seem impossible, in the long run it will help you concentrate and accomplish tasks faster, plus it will give you back a life away from work, where you can actually enjoy your time off.

Research demonstrates that controlling your interaction with a constant stream of digital data including email may improve your productivity, concentration and memory. Although you may find it a challenge, you can reclaim your personal time by using strategies that will discourage you from constantly checking work email and online news and social media. At work, create shorter emails with brief messages. Then make it a habit to check emails only at certain intervals, working up to possibly only once a day.

Cutting back on social media is another way to free up time and give yourself some sanity. Forty-three percent of Americans are constant “checkers,” i.e., someone who checks their email, text messages and social media accounts “constantly” throughout the day, with social media often causing the most stress, even beyond work.

If you’re having trouble cutting loose, do it in steps. Start by “batch processing” your emails and going through them just three times a day. Next, limit your cellphone usage while at the dinner table. Turn off notifications for social media apps so you won’t be constantly getting distracted by them. Finally, do a digital detox from time to time by simply switching off your computer and phone when the work day is done.
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