During the Cisco Live Empowered Women’s Network session Sunday afternoon, we had a round table discussion about work/life balance—specifically, how often we check work email and how hard it is to unplug. It’s difficult to improve business efficiency when our focus is all over the place.
Our session moderator and Cisco Executive, Kim Majerus, posed the question, “How do you unplug?”
As we went around the table I was amazed at how many of the women I was seated with just don’t unplug from email. Ever. They check work email all the time.
Taking a Break … to Improve Business Efficiency
At my table it was unanimous. Everyone said they check work email all the time. One woman even said when she takes vacation she would spend about four hours a day on her phone.
But what is the ideal number of times in a day you should check work email? The study suggests three times a day is the right amount to keep added stress away and improve business efficiency.
Three. Times. A. Day.
You must mean three times an hour, right?
All over the web you will find field experiments, blogs, and more stories of people addicted to checking email. Consistently, these articles suggest you unplug and only check work email two or three times a day.
The consensus is that breaking the habit can be stressful, but once it’s broken people report higher improved business efficiency and less stress because they’re not switching between tasks all the time.
How Often Do You Look at Your Phone?
Let’s do the math here. If we are awake 16 hours a day, that’s 112 hours a week. That means we are checking our phone more than 13 times an hour—or roughly every four and a half minutes.
Detox in Nature
My escape is hiking. Even in Southern California there are plenty of “dead zones” in our local mountains.
For longer unplugged time my son and I take an annual trip with the Boy Scouts, and we usually end up somewhere without coverage. We’ve hit the Sequoias and Yosemite in the past, and this year it’s Zion, including The Arches and The Narrows.
Taking an “electronics-free” vacation is just what I need to escape.
Checking email every four minutes is highly inefficient. VXSuite helps users be more improve business efficiency by delivering the right information to the right person at the right time to make the right decisions. There is no additional charge for separate user logins, so you can allow managers to log in and run their own reports.
Scheduled reports also limit the number of requests from department managers because the right information is delivered right to them.
What do you do to unplug? How often do you check your phone? Do you have other methods of improving business efficiency? How often do you check work email when you are at your desk?