US News & World Report ran a good article today on why it’s important to avoid personal emails during work time. Long story short: If you’re working for someone else, you may get fired, because many companies monitor their employees’ emails.
Yet in one survey, 14 percent said they send or receive personal emails “constantly” while on the job; another 31 percent said they do so “very often.”
Do you send and receive a lot of personal emails while you’re working? To break the habit, think of them as personal phone calls. You wouldn’t take a lot of calls from friends and family while you were on the clock; nor would you spend a lot of time on those calls you do get.
If you work for someone else, engaging in lots of personal emails cheats your employer. And if you work for your yourself, personal emails isn’t fair to your clients — and certainly doesn’t help your own productivity.
Instead, set aside a time during the day to send/answer personal emails, just as you would set aside a time of day to make/return personal calls. Then stick to your schedule. All work and no play will make you dull, yes, but all play and no work won’t help your reputation or your bottom line.