I have a bad habit. And that is I am constantly checking my email. I know I wrote about email last week, but this is different.

I am planning a trip out of town next weekend, and I want to have access to my email without having to pull out my laptop and hotspot to check it. So, I naturally added the app Outlook to my iPhone and added my school email accounts. This may have been a mistake because now I cannot get away from it. (Where is the offline button?).

The problem is I have my iPhone with me at all times. (Although I am not sure about this iPhone 7 – it is so big that it won’t fit in my pocket, but that is another issue.) Now, whenever I get a notification that I have a new email, I check it. What makes it worse is if I receive an email from one of my students, I want to respond to it right away. I picture my student sitting in front of their computer with a look of desperation waiting for my response to their email. We all know that this is probably not the case. Most likely, my student sent me an email asking a question and then went on with their day assuming they will have a response next time they check their email later in the day or tomorrow. So why do I think I have to respond to an email while sitting at the breakfast table? Surely it can wait until I get down to my desk.

I solved part of the problem by turning off the notifications. At least I don’t hear a buzz every time an email comes in, but that does not stop me from checking to see if there are any new messages every now and again. I don’t know how to describe it, but I have to look and see whenever I see my phone. I know, I know; I am the only one who struggles with this. You all have the discipline to “turn it off” when you leave your computer for the day. (How do you do that?)

The truth is, I was able to walk away from my email at the end of my work day when my school email was only on my computer. But now I have immediate access to my email all day no matter where I am. What a great thing! I can read and respond to my students with lightning speed. (Did the theme from Superman just pop in your head, too? Faster than a speeding bullet…) Just because I can, should I?

This morning is a good example. I was sitting at the breakfast table with my wife talking about how politics as infiltrated our Facebook page when I saw a new email in Outlook. I picked up my iPhone and read it to my wife’s chagrin (She is like you in that she can ignore it – I still want to know how you do it?) Sure enough, it is from one of my students asking a question about an assignment that is due next Monday (today is Tuesday). I had to respond; after all, he is sitting at his computer waiting for my response and will not be able to continue with his day until he gets my response.

Like I said, I made a mistake by adding my school email to my smartphone. Now, where is the button to delete that app?