Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

3 Reasons to Turn Your Phone's Push Email Off Right Now

ARCHIVES
Image via Sakhal / Shutterstock.com

*bizz*…*bizzzz*.............*bizzzzzz*

All day. Every day. Sometimes it came from my pocket. Other times my bag. Still other times it possessed my phone, causing it to dance across my desk. The thing was buzzing…even when it wasn’t buzzing. I began to hear and feel “phantom buzzing”—buzzing coming from my pocket when in fact there was no phone in said pocket.

I wasn’t insane. I was simply living with push email turned on. When you signed up for a smartphone you didn’t sign up to be bothered, 24/7. Push back by turning off push email. Initially, I worried I’d miss important updates or miss urgent messages from clients. None of that happened (turns out I’m not as important as I thought). Instead, my life felt considerably more under control.

As we live our digital lives we are witness to countless small miracles every day—from GPS and picture messaging to countless little useful apps and Angry Birds Star Wars. Point being: unless we choose not to be, we’re never not stimulated. According to Pew Internet, 46 percent of American adults owned smartphones as of Feb. 2012, up from 35 percent in May 2011. The pace at which we’ve adopted these devices is stunning.

Digital Discipline

But what we forgot to consider while snapping up the newest phones was how to use them properly. We failed to consider the discipline required by these “always on” devices.

We’ve already talked about how some employers are encouraging employees to stop checking email after work hours. You can take an even simpler step, today, by turning off your phone’s ability to automatically fetch new mail.

There are numerous benefits to stopping automatic push emails on your phone:

  1. You’ll be less distracted. It’s hard to get work done when you’re a slave to the constant updates of your phone. Set aside “email time” in your calendar to check your email at a specific time each day and respond on your own terms, not your phones.
  2. You can reaffirm work-life balance. Nobody expects you to be wired in all the time—except for you. Don’t let the phone dictate how available you are. By turning off automatic push emails you’ll have the freedom to tune out your phone in the evenings or when you’re off duty. When the buzzing dies down, you’ll notice your desire to check it constantly will too.
  3. You’ll save your phone’s battery. Your phone sucks a lot of power constantly communicating with email servers. Try turning off push email and see how many more precious hours you’ll get out of your phone on a single charge.

How do you turn off fetch email?

On an iPhone, got to the Settings app, in the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” section. 

Notice you have the option to turn “fetch new data” to OFF. Flip it to off and you'll be on your way to saving both your battery and your sanity.

For Android and Blackberry, it is often device specific. Simply googling “turn off automatic email” and the model of your phone should turn up resources to help you out.

Does your phone fetch new email all day?  

(Image via Sakhal / Shutterstock.com)

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.