You answer a number of emails every day. Along with social media, emails are a great distraction at work, even though they may be work related. As a result, you may be processing emails when you should be working. Email plays an important role in many businesses, which you cannot disagree with. But most emails you receive in a day are not really worth your time.
Sometimes reading emails at work may feel like an important job, but soon, you will be craving more responsibilities, if checking email is all you do. So how do you get around the email problem at work? Read on to find out how:
Email is not your job
When the major part of your day is consumed by emails, it may feel as if you have no other job except to read, respond and file emails. This may be alright for some time, but soon you will want to have more challenging responsibilities. Such as writing reports, designing, whether it’s a graphic or new product design. You may want to mentor and train others or contribute to your organization with innovative ideas. But you are not able to do all these things if you are just mailing, which keeps you busy for sure, but is it real work?
A civil servant of Menden, a German town, in his retirement message to his colleagues, wrote that for 14 years, he hadn’t really done anything, so he was quite prepared for retirement! This mail quickly became world famous, and his employers were enraged. But the employee maintained that it was not his desire to avoid work, but he never received any assignments.
This email raised several pertinent questions- what should be actually considered work? Does a job mean that you are doing anything productive? At what point does a job lose substance? And what can you do seem less lazy?
The first step is to reduce email checking.
Getting out from the inbox
You might be stuck in the never ending emails. Without realizing, you may be jumping at every mail notification, and checking your mail, leaving your actual work. This unconscious, trained response may waste a lot of time, though you may think you’re doing the right thing. Your colleagues may be similarly afflicted too – asking you whether you received the mail they sent just a minute ago!
Take a look at these 5 tips to avoid email checking:
Switch off notifications
Unless you’re expecting that life-changing email, you should turn off the notification. You are distracted with every ‘ping’ of notification and the accompanying message. Most mails are spam and just waste your time. Don’t miss out on important mails, just open your inbox after sufficient time, and save your energy by not responding to spam notifications.
Turn off email service on your mobile
This may seem unthinkable to you, but do you really have to read mails inside elevators, during lunch, in your car, in bathrooms or even, in bed? Turn on the email only when you want to, and switch off notifications in your mobile too.
Check mail less frequently
Reduce the frequency of checking mail. If you check mail 40 times a day, reduce by half, and keep reducing till you can minimize the frequency to a number which does not hamper your work.
Don’t use your inbox as your to do list
The reason why most people are stuck in the inbox is that they use it as a to do list. Just copy your tasks onto a file – create a task list and keep adding new tasks. File the relevant email in your archive so that it won’t be lost in the clutter of new mails.
Instead of mailing 20 times to schedule a meeting, go and meet the person. It’s more efficient than mailing back and forth all day.
Email hampers productive behavior by distracting you from working in a focused manner. In fact, email seems to be one of the worst inventions ever, when you notice how much time you’re wasting checking mails, and email should not control you and take over as your main activity.