Getting over email overwhelm
Getting over email overwhelm is a five part blog series in which you’ll learn the exact steps you can take to gain control of your inbox and start making email work for you rather than against you.
Dealing with e-mail has become a constant struggle for many people; there are too many of them, we never get on top of dealing with them, the inbox is constantly full and they continue to arrive like swarms of angry wasps’ intent on diverting, distracting and creating stress in our already too busy lives. It needn’t be like this.
Ready to get started?
Part 1 – Who’s in Control?
The first step in getting over email overwhelm is to clearly define who the boss in your relationship with your email: is it you, or your email? Now that might sound like a daft question, but ask yourself if:
- You read your email on multiple devices
- Your email is set to automatically check for new messages every 2 or 5 or 10 minutes
- You feel a compulsive need to see who is sending you email as soon as you see the little number appear that indicates an unread message
- You have several email addresses and treat them all equally
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you are not in control of your email. It is in control of you. Some medical specialists would go as far as saying you may be addicted to you email. And we’re going to fix that.
Set a schedule
Your homework for today is to set a schedule for checking and responding to your email. That might mean 10 minutes first thing in the morning, 10 minutes at midday or just before lunch, and 10 minutes just before you finish for the day. Or it might mean you spend an hour once a day. It’s not so important when or how often as it is that you don’t allow email to remain the attention grabber (and time thief) that it currently is.
Manage others expectations
If you have customers or friends who have come to expect your immediate response to emails, you may have to (gently) let them know the new email rules, but after a few days, they’ll begin to realise that even though you don’t respond instantly, you will respond.
Also, if you’re one of those people who receive hundreds of emails per day and you’re concerned that if you don’t “catch” them as they arrive, you’ll miss something important, consider setting up folders and rules. Use your email client to automatically sort your email into folders based on the subject or sender, then when it’s time to check your mail, you will easily be able to find important messages.
Getting over email overwhelm isn’t hard to do, but it does require conscious decisions and actions on your part. The first step is to simply decide to take control over your inbox. Remember – you are not a slave to your email.
In Getting over email overwhelm part 2, we will be talking about ‘project Inbox Zero’
Till next Time
The Time Doctor – Mike Gardner