Having an always-on internet connection can be more of a curse than a blessings at times, especially as it blurs the distinction between working hours

Is Your Work Email Stressing You?

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Having an always-on internet connection can be more of a curse than a blessings at times, especially as it blurs the distinction between working hours and family/rest time. With modern smartphones in particular, now your work emails can stream in round the clock, leaving you stressed and burnt out. However, you must never forget that you own your life and must take control of it. If you have the self-control, you can ignore any office mails that come in outside of your work hours.

Alternatively, you can use available tools on your smartphone to take charge of your life. One, you can turn off data completely whenever you want a break from work-related email. The downside to this is that you also lose all non-work related online communications and activities e.g. social media and instant messaging.

A better way, if your device is adequately equipped, is to set it up to synchronise your work email only during office (peak) hours. Doing this means that during your non-office (off-peak) hours, you will be free from the pressures of work email.

On Android

The Gmail app does not support sync scheduling of mails. If you have to use that app, you may have to settle for turning data off when you need a break. However, the generic email app provides sync scheduling.

Open the generic mail app, hit the Menu key, and select Settings. Select the mailbox you want to modify. Scroll down to Sync Schedule and select that. You will see options for peak and off-peak schedules. Modify to fit your preference.

To turn data off on Android, go to Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> More -> Mobile Networks -> Data Enabled: Check or uncheck as appropriate. Long journey; right? If your Android device runs a custom UI, usually, the data toggle is built into the Drop-Down Menu, so look there. Alternatively, you can download and add a widget to your homescreen to turn on and off data with one touch.

On BlackBerry

The option to schedule emails does not exist on BlackBerry OS (at least as at the last time I used one). However, you can also disable internet data as you wish by going to Options on your homescreen, Mobile Network, and the option to turn Data Services Off is right there.

On Windows Phone

This platform has no options to setup peak and off-peak sync schedules either, but the option to turn data off manually is there whenever you don’t want to be disturbed.

Settings – Mobile Network – Data Connection. Turn on and off as you desire.


Use any of the above tips to disconnect from the pressure of work on a regular basis for the sake of your physical and mental health. The world will not come to an end if you leave your work mails till the following morning. Whatever you do, be sure to have a healthier year in 2013.


  1. one other automated method of turning of data at specific periods (DayOfWeek / time) is to use apps like Tasker, MacroDroid ,or my favorite – AutomateIt

    youdo not risk forgeting.

    set it once, done. More efficient.

    this class of apps is also good for automated control of other phone stressors like ringtone volume – at the “wrong time in the RIGHT place”.

    Library, church, in the night, etc

  2. Thanks Mr. Mo for those healthful tips.

    If you are an Android user and would rather use one email client that is as good or even better than the Gmail app but supports all your mails, then try K9 Mail. Highly configurable and very nice looking and works excellently well too.

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