A new study from the University of British Columbia's psychology department tells us to stop checking email so frequently. The study asked one group of subjects to turn off their email alerts and check email only three times a day for a week. Another group was told to check email as many times as they would like. Then, the groups switched for a second week.
Published in Computers in Human Behaviour, the study showed that checking email leads to feelings of stress and tension. Subjects answered the following questions:
- How often have you felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?
- How often have you felt nervous and stressed?
- How often have you found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?
- How often have you been angered because of things that were outside of your control?
- Do these results surprise you?
- How realistic is it to check email just two or three times a day at work?
- What could you do to limit the number of times you check email throughout the day?