Late night emails – yes or no?

“Being forever available to the rest of the world is overrated. I mean, what are ‘missed calls’ invented for?” ? Mokokoma Mokhonoana

You need to squeeze every moment out of your busy day and make it count, so sending midnight emails is absolutely necessary so that little is left unfinished, because if you send that email and tick that last task off your list you can rest easy. Yes? Probably not.  Truth is, those late night emails are one of the worst ways to end your days and begin your resting hours.

To be effective you need good rest, and late night work, particularly any involving a screen, is counter-productive to sleeping well and waking refreshed.  Light is the enemy of sleep, and LED lights in particular, used in flat panel televisions, computer screens and of course smart phones, have been proven to suppress melatonin, the brains natural sleep inducing chemical.

Bigger than just the effect of the screen time on sleep quality, consider the message you are sending to the recipient of your late night actions, and I don’t just mean the content, particularly if they are a client of yours, managed or supervised by you. Do you expect an immediate read, reply and then action, or are you just sending the information or request before you forget?

Those you lead deserve down time just as you do, and cultivating a culture of 24/7 connectivity isn’t good for anyone, and is a morale killer to boot. Most of us have smart phones, and many of us struggle to ignore a message notification of any kind. If you must compose the email in the moment for your own reasons and risk your own rest time, save it as a draft or postpone hitting the send button until a more business as well as family friendly time of day.

If your rest and down time must be interrupted at your own choice, try not to force that on others. Being switched on every minute of the day, electronically as well as mentally, can be the killer of creativity, innovation and motivation. To perform at our best we all need rest and recharging to create energy, insights and ideas. Don’t deplete your best resources and miss this opportunity.

Chances are, those late night jobs may have satisfied the need to tick off the task but may need redoing or checking at a more work friendly hour. Few of us do our best work when we are tired and wired, and should be relaxed and resting.

If late night emails, (or any other kind of late night work related activities) are causing you to lose sleep and send the wrong message, figuratively as well as literally, outsourcing some of your tasks might be just what you need to save you time and gain more hours in your day.  Contact us to talk about our Virtual Business Solutions and sleep easier.


Leave a Reply