I’m no Corporate Hedgehog with hundreds of emails landing in my inbox every day, but several months ago, I did notice my own email issue: I was spending a stupid amount of time replying to non-urgent requestions (yes, I just mashed request and question together). I’d be working wonderfully, and *bling*, my phone would let me know I just got an email. Typically, it was from a customer, asking if we could meet, or letting me know about an estimate I sent, or some problem they were having.. But sometimes, it’d be some kind of negative message about something I did wrong, or forgot, or that they didn’t like.
These emails were triggers for me. They’d wreck my hour, or afternoon, or rest of the day. I’d be so put out about it that I’d have to write them back right away. Steamed and exasperated, I’d go back to work. Wasted time, terrible approach.
I’ve done two things to fix this:
- shut off email notification on my phone
- adopted an awesome method from Tim Ferriss.
My new best friend is my Vacation Responder. Now, when I get an email, my inbox automatically launches this back to the sender:
Because I believe connection and action are more important than mere
activity, I check my email weekdays at 7:30 am and 4:00 pm.
If you need to get in touch with me in the meantime, call me at
XXX-XXX-XXXX, otherwise I’ll get back with you on my next email
Now, every day at 7:30 and 4:00, I log on, knowing that there may be some issues or requestions, and I’m totally fine with it. It’s no longer a distraction. My customers know when they’ll be hearing back from me. It’s a scheduled event that I make time for. It’s worked like a charm for me.
There’s something really freeing about intentionalality.
Like the concept of being free from the bondage of email? Give it a shot for a week and let me know how it goes!