As going without email is an unrealistic dream for most of us, here are some tips you can use to de-clutter your email infused day:
- Remember social interaction – one of the reasons mentioned in a study which monitored the drop in stress levels of employees who went without email for 5 days, was simply that it allowed them to have more social interaction. If possible, go and discuss the contents of some of your emails rather than composing a reply when the recipient is a corridor length away.
- Show restraint – checking emails can have marked similarities to an over-stimulated bladder … the more often you think you need to check, the more often you do! Try to set yourself a time period or suitable break-off point before you check your inbox and then gradually increase this period. Most people find they are more productive without the distraction of continually checking their inbox.
- Try Yesterbox – a system where your “To Do List” for each day becomes yesterday’s emails, training you to stop watching how many emails are mounting in your inbox today and reducing the stress email can cause. More information can be found here about the Yesterbox technique.
- Auto-reply Messages – don’t keep them just for holidays. If you are wanting some thinking time or are getting distracted from a deadline by the emails dropping into your inbox, add a message that you’ll reply tomorrow with a suitable arrangement for anything which really can’t wait thereby freeing you up to concentrate on the job in hand.