Email is like Let’s Make a Deal. If you aren’t familiar with the show, which those of you under 40 may not be, there was a point in the show where there were three doors. You could trade what you had for what was behind the door and it could either be an awesome prize worth way more than you had in your hand already, or it could be a stupid, worthless annoying prize that made the audience groan.
So when we think about our Email, it is like that. We don’t know when we open our email if there will be good news, bad news, lots of work, or something saying we don’t have to do something we were dreading. So if you are a person who has some anxiety issues like I do, then you usually do one of two things: 1) You are so addicted to your email that you check it every minute or two to make sure there is nothing important there, or 2) You avoid your email because you are afraid of what might be there and can’t force yourself to check it enough.
So, set aside time out of each day to check email and then don’t have the program on or open for the rest of the day. Maybe it needs to be three times a day if your job requires a lot of email, but still, if you spent three hours a day on email, you would have 5 more to do your work. You see, email was never intended to be our whole work…. it was intended to make us work more efficiently. Your real work is that planning, thinking, dreaming, doing stuff that email has taken us away from. If you were an adult before email you will remember how different live was… can you imagine how people would laugh if we told them that we spent 7 hours a day opening our mail? That would have been crazy. We stacked up the mail on the desk and then grabbed it and opened it all at once and processed it… maybe once or twice a day if there was a lot of email.
I’m trying to turn of my email more often. Multitasking, even though I feel I excel at it, is not a way to get things done. The problem is for those of us who are addicted to our email and check it multiple times a day, or have it pop up and go answer it every time it dings that there is a new email, then people are going to be surprised when we don’t respond in an hour or two. But think about it. There is this modern contraption called the telephone if they really need to reach you immediately. We need to train each other to not expect immediate answers by email. Experts say that 24 hours before answering is a reasonable expectation.
So, my challenge for you on this #FinishWellFriday is to spend less than three hours with your email open today. See if you can do it. And see how much you get done. I bet if you can stick with it you can get your #FinishWelLFriday list done.
I’d love to hear how it goes for you.
(P.S. As you know if you were a reader 10 years ago, my blog has never been like it is "supposed to be." Now that nearly every person who is anyone anywhere has a blog that is polished and perfect, it's hard to remember the good old days when blogging was what mine still is. Whatever I want it to be. I don't try and think about SEO optimization or my audience and what they want, this is my web journal. The original purpose of a blog. A web log. that's where the word came form.
So if you are a blog reader who is here to hear about my kids and my personal life, or my faith journey, or my work, or for any other reason, you may not always find here what you are looking for. One of the things that I am studying right now is productivity so I decided I'll share what I'm learning with my staff and with you. You can always not read it if it doesn't pertain to you. That's the beauty of it all).