How often do you find yourself checking your emails? Maybe you’re waiting for that all important contract to come through. Perhaps you refresh your inbox every couple of minutes in the hope that you’ll have an invoice payment confirmation. Whatever the reason, checking your emails takes time you could be spending on other areas of your business. Here’s a few ideas to implement of how to check your emails less.
Around the world we apparently send 200 million emails every day! That is a ridiculously high number. What did we do before email? What about all those hours of typing email addresses and carefully (or sometimes not carefully enough!) phrasing our words. It gets worse now that we have access to our emails on our phones and even on our watches. We’re the slave to the inbox master. Statistics say that the average person spends around about 30% of their working day sorting emails in some capacity. That could be writing them or replying to them but whatever way you look at it, that is a lot of time! If you get an annual salary of £30k, £9k of that is spent in your inbox. For bosses and employees alike now is the time for change. To break this habit and to check emails less frequently.
Firstly, don’t have your email inbox open all day long. Turn off those annoying pop ups that appear on your monitor telling you that so-and-so from the Edinburgh office has sent over an updated spreadsheet. Limit yourself to checking your emails twice a day. Once first thing in the morning, with 30 minutes to clear your inbox and reply to everyone. Then again after lunch. If it’s so important or people need an immediate answer, they’ll figure out how to use that old school thing called a landline.
I’m not saying to ignore emails completely. There is place for them and so often they are integral but where did face to face communication go? Why do we so often receive emails from people sitting just a few feet away from us in the same office? Start breaking out of those emails by getting off your chair and speaking to folk. They might look at you a bit weirdly. It might take a bit of effort if they’re on a different floor to you in the building. This is how you can start to claw your way out of chain emails, back and forth questions and answers. Get chatting, get to the point and you will save yourself time in the long run.
Research says that two thirds of emails in the average person’s inbox are not important. So if you have 60 emails waiting for you when you get to work on a morning, 40 of those are likely destined for the trash folder. If you see an email pop up and you’re in the middle of doing an important task, it takes on average 64 seconds to get back into the work flow you were in the middle of. That’s a wasted minute. If that happens four times an hour, it becomes disruptive. Let’s use this new year to claim back some time away from our inboxes. Unhook the connection between your phone and your smart watch so you don’t get notifications. Switch off the smartphone for an hour and chuck it in your desk drawer so you can concentrate without interruption. You could even disconnect from the Wi-Fi if you’re working on a simple word document and don’t need to check the internet for anything. Break free from the shackles of Outlook or your preferred email provider and you’ll be surprised at just how much other stuff you get done!