I love email. I love both sending and receiving them. I love the excitement of pressing the send button. I love the feeling when I get a new email that I’ve been anticipating.
With that said, the days I get the least done seem to be the days I check my email the most. The days that are the most productive, happiest, and in the now are the days where I check it the least.
Email. It can be addicting, hitting the refresh button. And it can distract us, reading email after email coming in hot. It can make us anxious, too much email or not enough. It’s not good to start the day by checking your email in bed. And it isn’t good to stare at your screen at night checking it as well. It can interfere with relationships, our emotions, productivity, and overall wellbeing if not in check. I’ve certainly felt that way. Have you?
If you find that your email is stressing you out, wasting too much of your precious and limited time, and harming your productivity levels here are my tips:
Schedule email time. I find that 9am seems to be the best time for me to check my email, and then again at 3pm. I am on CST here on the FL Panhandle, so this allows me to connect with EST and PST at times that seem best for me. Have boundaries. And if you receive hundreds of emails a day, consider hiring someone to screen your email for you! I will admit first hand that this is hard. I don’t always follow my own advice.
Unsubscribe (or unfollow) anything that doesn’t bring value to your life. You can use unroll.me to simplify the unfollow process! It’s amazing. By unsubscribing you will decrease inbox clutter, avoid things like impulsive spending, and decrease scroll and delete time.
Stop feeling the need to reply immediately! If the offer is gone by the next day, you didn’t want it in the first place. If I am going to lose a potential client because I don’t respond within 2 hours than they probably didn’t really want to work with me anyway.
Turn off notifications. This is the biggest favor you can do for yourself, and all the other people around you that are subjected to hearing your phone. Email should not be interrupting life.
Turn your phone off, or even better, disconnect your email from your phone. Crazy, right? How does that thought even make you feel? Honestly, I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I’m thinking about it… just like I have considered getting rid of my smart phone. Maybe email wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for our phones and being constantly dialed in.
That’s it! What’s your relationship with your email like? How do you keep it in check? And out of curiosity, have you considered getting rid of your smart phone, too?