November 5, 2018
Do you have any idea of how often you check your email, smartphone, and notifications on all of your devices? Chances are, it’s probably too much, according to a American Psychological Association’s new Stress in America: Coping with Change poll released last year.
Four out of five U.S. adults (86 percent) reported “that they constantly or often check their email, texts and social media accounts.” If you’re a freelance writer, I’m willing to bet that constantly checking your email is zapping your progress and peace.
That friend or colleague of yours who always gets back to you ASAP, and is of course, on his/her phone while in your company, (a.k.a. a “constant checker”) is likely to be more stressed (a 5.3 on a 1 to 10 scale) than someone who isn’t engaging with technology as frequently (4.4).
Other data suggests Americans are spending 208 minutes per day on non-voice media on their phones. That’s nearly 3.5 hours we’re spending on our phones daily when you don’t include talking on it.
In a society that’s “always on,” as a freelancer, you might feel like you have to check email from morning ’til night in order to ensure you don’t miss an assignment and your clients know they can rely on you. But, if you’re answering emails on your phone while spending time with your partner on the couch at night, your smartphone use could be hurting your relationship. (Using your cell phone at night could also disrupt your sleep, which will make you be more likely to be stressed tomorrow, too.)
“Taking a digital detox is one of the most helpful ways to manage stress related to technology use,” said Lynn Bufka, PhD, APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy, in APA’s the press release. “Constant checkers could benefit from limiting their use of technology and presence on social media.”
Here are some ways to reduce email checking throughout the day (or take a tech break) that won’t hurt your freelance business:
Think that work stress is no big deal? Stress hurts our health in many ways, like causing headaches, making us more likely to get sick, wrecking our sleep, impacting cardiovascular health, causing back pain, and more. Being in a constant state of stress also impacts our hormones and our ability to lose weight, as well as our ability to concentrate.
Do you want to cut back on your email use?
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