I’ve spent years pressing the refresh button in my email client, anxiously awaiting a message to be sent to me after I see that a friend is typing, and tracking a package every two hours. Waiting is something we all do from time to time. When you get used to instantly responding to everything, though, things become unmanaged and much more annoying than they should be. Today, as with every other day of the week (I’ve dropped the five-day week of work), I’m experiencing just that, and I’m growing tired of it.
There’s a lot of scientific reasons for why we are looking for the latest bit of information in today’s fast-paced world. The bit that I think is important, though, is what some European nations have been doing about it. In France, The Guardian reports that new labor laws “now make it illegal for workers in the digital and consultancy sectors - including the French offices of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC - to respond to work emails after 6pm.” The government understands that the people should not be expected to respond to their emails every moment of their consciousness.
When you get in the habit of launching your email client right when you start up your computer at the beginning of the day, priorities can get jumbled. Personally, I’m always waiting to hear Sparrow’s “ding” to know that I have a new email. It’s as if my day is filled with nothing but anticipation. And all this for what? More work that I don’t really want to do right now anyway. I finished early and should go enjoy my time, but I would rather keep the email client open just in case.
Today, I’d like to take a bold step in a different direction. It’s a good day for change, methinks. Rather than keep Sparrow open all day and constantly check the Mail app on my iPhone, I’m going to figure out something else to fill the hours of time. When there’s nothing to actively do, maybe I’ll take the short nap I’ve been needing for weeks. Who knows. All I know is there’s a point when these things get very annoying, and right now everything has bolted past it.
I tried this a few months back and I must say, it’s a very difficult thing to do. Not only am I exercising self-control, it feels like I’m blatantly ignoring work and will be fired. People will understand, I’m sure. They must have more sympathy than I think. We’ll see!