Long ago (3 years) when I started in my current job, I decided to have just one email account. It would be simpler, I thought, to have everything going to this one place and I could file the messages into folders, etc., to keep them organized. This worked for a while, when the main component of my job was clinical. The majority of my job is still clinical work, but I am also now the education coordinator for my site. This means I am responsible for the scheduling, teaching, and evaluation of all learners that come through my department.

It has been one year since I have had that job (which I sort of volunteered for and was sort of thrust upon me). I have noticed an increasing problem: the quick scroll through messages while at home which results in a rapid rise in irritation in response to work emails.

I am aware that I MUST stop doing this! Today, for example: it was an incredible day here, unseasonably warm, and I was off. I was spending the morning with Kirby and we went for a walk, spent time at the park, played in the mud in the backyard. While he was enjoying the mud, I took out my phone and quickly checked my email. HUGE mistake. There were 3 work emails, all about relatively minor issues, but all requiring some action from me. I was immediately irritated. Not only did the emails require a response, but 2 of the 3 were asking me to do something (more things!) and the third was related to evaluation procedure which is inefficient and basically a make-work project for me (and I had already spent a great deal of time trying to change how this was done). Not only was I irritable, I was downright cranky. So now my lovely morning is ruined, I am cranky with Kirby, and all I can think about through his lunch is how I have to sit down at the computer and sort this stuff out! ARGGHHH! And this is my day off!

As I said I am aware this needs to stop. I am aware that the emails are not the problem, it is my response to them. And I am aware that checking email while outside with your baby is the opposite behaviour of the mindful person I want to be! I have even come up with a solution: instruct everyone to use my hospital based email account for all work-related items. The hospital system is very difficult to access via smart phone.

So why, you may ask, haven’t I made this change? BECAUSE IT IS ONE MORE ITEM ON MY TO DO LIST. (But it may have just moved up into the top 5).