Just Relax

This is another rare non-race specific post. Yet, I think it may offer something of value to the racers who perhaps, like me, tend to work too much.

I left the enterprise world (American Express, if you’re curious) back in 2000. For the next 22 years I worked for small companies or consulted for larger ones. During those 22 years, smartphones became a thing… and changed a lot about how I worked.

Not always for the best, it seems. [that’s foreshadowing]

I still remember back in the ’05 or 06 era, the pure joy of getting my work email working on my cell phone. “Wow, we live in the future! Now I’ll always know what’s going on. Now I will always be in touch! Wow, IMAP is magical.” (Subtle joke for the older geeks reading this…).

Then how about the advent of Google Chat. Microsoft Yammer (lol!) then Teams. Slack and assorted other instant messaging/chat apps. Wow, now I am really in touch all the time. This is great!

Fast forward many years.

My current company got bought by a much larger Enterprise company (Ok, fine: Equifax) in February of last year. Initially nothing really changed. We kept rolling with our Office 365 account (email and Microsoft Teams) and definitely were not very well integrated with the new “mother ship” technology stack. But hey, we still had the ability to run mail and Teams on our personal devices and always be available, so that was all good, right?

Then the migration to corporate mail was announced. And oh, by the way, you can’t access corporate email (and chat) unless you are on a corporate device. Security and compliance say there is just no way.

What?!? Crazy talk. How will I be in touch 24/7?!?

“No problem. You can ask for a corporate smartphone. Then you can access your work mail and chat from wherever you might be.”

You can bet I requisitioned one immediately (and to be honest, I had already been given a corporate iPad immediately after the acquisition as well — to ensure I was always reachable. I thought that was a great idea.) Totally ignoring how much I had been laughing at my wife the past 8 years about having to have a corporate phone for work… 😉

The migration to corporate email happened the 2nd week of December. Here’s what I’ve noticed since then:

  1. My personal phone battery lasts a helluva lot longer now. No work stuff on it anymore.
  2. My stress level has plummeted.

Seriously. At the end of the workday I just leave all my work devices (phone/tablet/laptop) in my home office and walk away. No obligation to carry it all with me like I felt when it was on my personal devices. Done is done [unless I’m on the rare on-call week]. What I am trying to say:


My stress levels have plummeted. I’m literally not on call 24×7 anymore. No more self-induced (yes, it was mostly always self-induced, I think) working around the clock. Waiting for the phone to ding. Keeping an eye on the inbox or chat channels. ugh. No more!

Holy hell, I feel like a real person again.

Not going to lie: It took a week or two to get used to this and I’m not 100% there. But I like it — and I like where this is headed.

To tie it all back into this blog, I think this is going to do wonderful things for my training this year. Decreased stress levels can only improve performance.

So what’s my real point here? If your current employer “let’s you” put work email or chat on your personal smartphone maybe think about not doing that. Just don’t.

4 replies on “Just Relax”

I have not forgotten the BlackBerry leash that kept me from sleeping back in my days working at the tissue bank. That job was slowly killing me. Leave the work stress in it’s scheduled time where it belongs! Welcome back to life. 🙂


Son, have you forgotten when I used to carry a pager 24/7 ? Some gave you a message others just a phone # to call or a code. They were guaranteed to interrupt anything and everything… church, dinner, sleep, visiting friends or family. They kept us corralled on the New Years of 2000. I also do not miss it.


I remember pagers very well. I too carried one through the 90s and into the early 00’s.

I also threw a couple of them against brick walls… I’m not real proud of that in hindsight, but they sure shattered in a pretty way.

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