This Microstep Helps Me Stop Stressing Over My Email Inbox

My inbox has always been a source of stress for me, so I'm rethinking how I deal with it to make more time for what matters.

Andrii Zastrozhnov/ Shutterstock
Andrii Zastrozhnov/ Shutterstock

While today’s technology-enabled work environment gives us ease of accessibility, it can be can be very stressful – and if we’re not careful, work matters can consume our minds 24/7. Our default is to look out for others and we sometimes put caring for ourselves on the back-burner. Well, guess what, that’s not OK. It’ll lead to burn-out and that doesn’t help anyone.

While many companies including Bank of America, offer a host of programs and benefits to support their employees’ emotional wellness, what’s often overlooked I think, are the micro-steps individuals can take that can have an immediate impact on our lives – and the ripple effect of changing one small habit. So I’m really pleased that Mika raised this topic at the recent Ascend Summit.

My micro-step is to stop cleaning out my inbox and sending emails on a Sunday. It’s a tough habit to break as I’ve been switching into work-mode every Sunday for as long as I can remember! But when I think about the negative effect this can have on my family and my team – never mind my own well-being – it’s a habit I’m determined to break.

I’m taking baby steps and trying hard to be more organized by blocking out time on a Friday afternoon or a Monday morning to catch up. Last Sunday I was really good – I carved out time first thing Monday to deal with my inbox. But this past weekend, the obnoxious voice in my head took over and I confess to sending a few messages. I’m asking my husband and my kids to help keep me on track – so when they see me checking in on a Sunday, they have full license to call me out! 

I’m standing up to that annoying voice in my head because I know that this will not only help my own work/life balance and well-being, it will also have a positive ripple effect on the lives of my family and colleagues. An added benefit to my new routine is that I’m taking more walks and spending more quality time with my family and friends.  

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