Several clients this week mentioned how overwhelmed they felt in handling the amount of email they received on a daily basis. One of the clients asked what I thought about the notion of running their email on their laptop, while simultaneously working on a writing project on their desktop. They thought that perhaps this might be more efficient to go back and forth, so you didn’t have to toggle different screens on the same computer.
I said I thought that was a terrible idea. In fact, I strongly believe that we need less multi-tasking activities, not more. The research is showing that our brains are never getting a rest from technology and activity.
Prior to technology, particularly cell phones and smart phones, we had times during the day when our brains could rest: when we drove in the car, walking down the street to a restaurant for lunch, on our way to a meeting etc. But now, as a culture, we are constantly on our phones either texting, checking email or surfing something on the web. There is no time for our brains to rest and that in itself is taking a toll on our health.
But, back to email overwhelm.
Here are three tips that might help you manage your email-I know they have helped me and many of my clients:
1-Turn off the “ding”
Turn down, or better yet turn OFF the “ding” that happens when you get a new message indicating a new email is awaiting you. That way, you won’t be so inclined to jump every time you know a new email has come in. Research shows that when you get pulled off a particular project or focus, it can take you nearly 20 minutes to get refocused and back into what you were doing. If you are constantly checking your email, every time it dings, it’s no wonder you are feeling overwhelm in getting things done.
2-Check your email only three or four times a day
Set a schedule for yourself to check and work on your email three or four times a day. Yes, I said three or four times a day, not every second of every minute! This is still enough time to get back to people on a regular basis and not worry about losing business. We are a culture that has trained ourselves to expect instant response to everything. I feel I am pretty responsive to my clients, but I have some clients, when I didn’t respond to an email within the hour, will then text me. Remember when all we had was snail mail? Two weeks was an appropriate time to expect to hear a response. So I urge you to figure out what times work best for you to check your email, and stick with it.
3-Unsubscribe to anything you aren’t reading regularly
I recently went through my inbox and literally unsubscribed to over ten newsletters I was receiving, but not reading. And some of them were from some of my very good friends and colleagues. Let’s face it. If you’re not getting value from a newsletter, unsubscribe. If you don’t, it just means you have to deal with it later.
I urge you to try these three tips for the next 21 days and see if it doesn’t make a huge improvement in your feelings of overwhelm, increase your productivity and make more time to do the things that are going to move you towards your bigger goals and vision!
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below, what tips and strategies you use in managing your email?
|Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.