Better than an “email vacation”

May 05, 2012 By Mark Hurst 1 Comment

From Taking E-Mail Vacations Can Reduce Stress: a UC Irvine study has found that “people who do not look at e-mail on a regular basis at work are less stressed and more productive.” (See research PDF.) The suggested solution is to “take a few days away” from email, and rely on coworkers to pass along any “important work events.”

Much like inbox bankruptcy, simply running away from email overload doesn’t solve the problem. What does work is to engage email as described in Bit Literacy (free Kindle ebook, free iBookstore ebook). To summarize: move your action items to a todo list, and archive or delete everything else. The inbox should be empty at least once a day.

Here’s my inbox as I type this. It’s really hard to feel overloaded or stressed looking at this:


  1. Jim Thomas May 06, 2012 11:11 pm

    Mark; your comments are real on target. I was beginning to feel like I was addicted to my email account. Maybe not as good as it could be, but what I am doing now is that when I check my email the last time on Friday’s I do not open again until Monday morning. Now I am thinking about not checking on Wednesday. Best regards, Jim

    Comment >