Most of us spend almost 60-70% of our work days working on emails without even realising how the emails sent by others are controlling our professional and personal lives. We start our day with emails and also end our days while staring at our inboxes resulting into poor sleep and a stressful morning.
We can’t let our lives be taken away by emails. Life is short and precious – can’t be spent answering and looking at emails.
As soon as we step inside the office or start our work day – the first thing we do is dive into our mail box and then throughout the day emails come dropping in from every direction on the earth and we keep answering them as if we are playing tennis on a round field.
Hours, days and years of our lives pass by reverting to emails and what we do not realise is that by answering emails we are actually working on someone else’s priorities and not being actually productive. Our own priorities remain back stage all throughout.
The devil devices we own – do not let us stay in peace even when we have stepped back home. Our mail boxes brutally take away our Family time and our Me time from us. Back home also some or the other email keeps pooping in (read Popping in!!!) to distract us from our priorities.
It’s high time we need to take control of our mail box. Taking control of the mail box is a big step towards maintaining a balanced lifestyle and enhancing our professional productivity.
Few ways we can manage and simplify our email-life are :
Check email only at a pre-decided time, not more than 2-3 times a day or depending on your nature of work you may increase or decrease the frequency. The best is to look at your inbox twice a day – once in the morning (post you have set your priorities for the day) and second time, an hour or two before winding up for the day.
Answer emails only if it is very very important – else delegate.
Use email only for record keeping of an important communication or a decision taken in a discussion. For every other communication – avoid emails and talk. Direct communication is fastest and leaves no ambiguity.
Emails that will take less than 2 minutes, revert right away and for any communication that would need time to act upon – mark it as unread and you may answer it later in evening once you are ready with more clarity.
My personal favourite – limit your emails to a single sentence or a maximum of a five sentence limit. Five sentences are sufficient to make an impactful communication. Anything more would only make others loose interest.
Answer emails only when necessary – frequent emails from you will make you less important. When you communicate only for important matters. People will start looking forward to your emails.
Make use of your non email time – think, strategise, plan your days. Work upon how you can be more productive for the organisation.
Last and the most obvious – practice zero inbox.
Happy Signing Off…. Email life.