Partial Break is Better than No Break

To check or not to check. That is the question.


Checking emails, that is.


Last week, I was on a mission trip in Utah. I deliberately left my computer at home. I needed a break from work.


I took my smartphone - it’s not prudent to travel without one. I kept an eye on my email traffic. I dealt with a few minor issues, but I spent very little time on work - probably well under two hours.


This morning, my inbox has 735 unread messages - and this is after I eliminated everything that was not work related. Getting through them will be a pain today.


Technology allows us to stay connected. That’s a good thing, except when it’s not. One never quite escapes the office.


On the other hand, you don’t come back to unwelcome surprises. For those of us who pre-date cell phones, that used to be a real concern when you were out of the office for any length of time.


On my trip, I took a middle course. I didn’t wholly disconnect. While I didn’t spend much time, just occasionally scanning my messages kept business on my mind.


If I had brought my laptop, I probably could have spent less than an hour a day and I would not have hundreds of messages this morning. It would have been no big deal especially as I am an early riser.


I have no idea if not taking my laptop was the right call.


Frankly, either way I doubt I could muster the discipline NOT to check my messages.


Well, I suppose a partial break is better than no break.