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De-Stress: Check Your Email Less

How to prevent a major meltdown.

If the ding of new emails inundating your inbox is something you simply can’t ignore, then take a second and assess this new research, which suggests that obsessively checking and immediately responding to work emails is physically and mentally burning us out.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia studied 124 adults of various professions. Participants were either instructed to limit how often they checked their email to three times daily for the week or told to check their email as often as they could (which turned out to be about the same number of times they normally checked their email). The instructions were reversed during a subsequent week.

The participants also answered brief daily surveys regarding their stress levels. Researchers found that people felt less stressed when they checked their email less often.

Seems like a simple fix: ease up on email checking to reduce psychological stress, but most participants found it very difficult to resist the temptation. Try it for yourself. Start checking your email in chunks several times a day. It could be the difference between a happier workday and a major meltdown. Which would you rather?

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