I’ve vouched for “email free” nights and weekends for several years now. Work-related email, that is. With proper planning and discipline, I’m convinced 99% of white collar workers would benefit, especially when allowing for no more than 3-4 emergency checks per year.
On the personal side, it’s easy to see how “email free” nights and weekends improves life. But there are professional benefits, too. Adam Braun explains this best in likening weekend email breaks to weightlifting off days:
“The act of weightlifting is not actually when you increase your strength,” he says. “The act of weightlifting is creating micro tears in your muscles, and it’s actually during your period of recovery that the muscles heal themselves, and in doing so, increase in size and strength.”
Similarly, email recovery time helps to strengthen, focus, and inspire the brain. It can also serve as motivation to return to work. “I love my work more because I long for it when I’m away (from email),” Braun says. When that happens, output increases.
Obviously, egotistical workers or legitimately in-demand chief executives might balk at this advice. But email recovery works. It works because Henry Ford discovered a century ago that worker burnout occurs at 35-40 hours per week.