nicole bensen

Permission to not check email? Granted.

Last summer I shared this permission slip on Instagram as a nudge to give yourself permission to do something in support of your wellbeing.

My permission slip to not check my email on vacation.

One thing I gave myself permission to do a few years ago was to turn off email notifications on my phone. 

Last year I turned off Instagram notifications.

I haven’t turned either of these back on. And friend, I am LOVING IT.

It’s a small nudge to be more intentional with whatever I’m doing. When I’m checking email, I’m checking email. I respond to IG messages when I log in to IG on purpose.

I used to tell myself I was being efficient; I could answer that email while I was in line at a café—what an amazing multi-tasker, right? Well, research shows there’s actually no such thing as multi-tasking; we just “task switch” really fast. 

So, what’s the problem with always “being on”?

When we allow ourselves to have space between tasks—to daydream, if you will—our brain has energy to make connections that aren’t obvious. 

According to Dr. Christine Carter:

“We may think—mistakenly—that nothing important is happening in our heads when we aren’t consciously doing something…but actually, our brain lights up like a Christmas tree when we’re daydreaming.”

If turning off email notifications feels too extreme, here are some other ideas:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

☑ I give myself permission to be present and not check emails or pings during a meeting today.

☑ I give myself permission to create a closer bond with my partner by being vulnerable and expressing my emotions tonight at dinner.

☑ I give myself permission to experiment, have fun, and make mistakes.

☑ I give myself permission to set a boundary and say no to the thing my boss/friend/partner wants me to do.

☑ I give myself permission to eat lunch somewhere OTHER THAN MY DESK.

☑ I give myself permission to go for a 10-minute walk this afternoon. Maybe that walk happens at Target. It’s called self-care.

☑ I give myself permission to not answers pings and emails on my vacation. (Yeah, I know, my European friends might be shaking their heads at this, but I see you, my American friends – because I am you. Let’s let our vacations be vacations!)

I’m taking a few days off this month, and I’m giving myself permission to not check email while I’m away.

What is something you can give yourself permission to do in support of your wellbeing?


P.S. Want to personalize and print out this silly permission slip for yourself? Grab the free Canva template here. Print it out. Put it on your cubicle wall as a reminder. Dramatically point to it when someone asks you to do something not in line with your permission slip. You get to be in charge of your mental health!

P.P.S. Did you know small nudges are part of the wellbeing framework I teach? The doors to my on-demand program, Next Level You, are opening in September. Join the waitlist to be the first to know when doors open.

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