There is a radical idea going around – the idea that you shouldn’t check your email, at least not first thing in the morning.
The theory is that email places unnecessary demands on your schedule, causing you to readjust your day to accommodate the requests in your inbox. Once you’ve tended to all your requests, there is often not enough time to accomplish your most important work.
Switching your habits and blocking off time to work first, before you check your email for the day, allows you to prioritize your work and focus on what is truly important, instead of chasing your inbox.
Is this realistic and even feasible?
You’ll probably say that there is no way to go without checking your email at the start of your day. You’re worried that there is something important in there, critical to the daily operation of business.
If it was truly urgent, it wouldn’t be sent via email.
The Problem with Email
Email has become a problem. It’s akin to a toddler that you are always chasing after – constantly messy, and unpredictable.
Email was supposed to be a communication tool to make life easier, not harder. Yet, it no longer works for you.
It has now become one of the main ways everyone communicates in business. Instead of picking up the phone and having a simple conversation with a client, or talking to employees in the same building, an email is sent and the maddening cycle continues.
They say for every one email you send out, you get six in return. SIX! Think about that next time you go to send an email.
The real problem with email is that it is impersonal. It cuts out a foundational business component – the relationship. Every time you send an email to someone, whether it is a client or employee, you are sending the same signal – they are not important enough for you to stop what you are doing and have a real conversation.
How do you stop the madness? Refuse to chase after it anymore.
Schedule time for your email, considering both what time you will check your email, and for how long. It is one thing to decide when you are going to check your email, but if you spend an hour or more every time you check it you haven’t gained any of the benefits of scheduling your email time.
Instead, decide how long you are going to check your email for, and when. Once in your inbox, prioritize your time by answering the most pressing emails first. Then, move on to the next important, and so on.
If you can’t get to all of your emails don’t panic, try to get to them next time. If you never get to certain emails, maybe they weren’t that important to begin with.
Instead of sending an email, ask yourself if this is an opportunity to connect, and have a conversation with the person.
This means having real conversations with our clients and employees. Additionally, questions and concerns can be addressed immediately, solving problems before they begin, and saving you time in the long run.
Ultimately, the only way truly slay the email monster is to get ahead of it, and stop sending emails in the first place.
What do you think about this radical idea of not checking your email? Have you ever tried it before? What was the result? Leave us a comment and tell us about it. We would love to hear your story.
Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in helping your business be more productive. Email: [email protected]. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.