Away From Email
I spent a week away from email and it was great. My family took a trip to Disneyland and I promised that I wouldn't check any messages for the duration of the holiday. The first few days were difficult: watching the inbox pile up induces a sort of anxiety in me. Every email that went untouched felt like a neglected task or dropped ball. I had to remind myself that the world turns without me and that it could wait. I am glad that I was able to refrain from checking my email. Watching my wife and kids enjoy a vacation together was amazing. My three year old could not have been more excited to spend time with Buzz Lightyear and "boom the bad guys" with her laser gun.
I didn't realize how much time I spent constantly checking multiple in-boxes. The casual glances down to my phone are an interruption to my day. It requires a temporary, but full, disengagement with the world around me. A lot happens in a moment, especially when you have young kids at home. This may seem like an obvious conclusion to my week away but I felt much more present. I was there, in the moment, with my family the whole time. The trip felt more real and I got a measurable break from the demands of my professional life.
I want to spend more time away from my email. Part of me was free from the endless task of checking, processing, and responding to messages. It takes more out of me than I realized. I have to be more disciplined when I am home with my family. I have to ask you, what do you do? How do you disengage from your smart phone and spend more time being present with your family?