Whether you are working on your Purpose and Vision or you are working on creating a rich and balanced life, one of the most challenging things clients struggle with in their email inbox. Research suggests that most people open their email in the morning and let the contents set their agenda for at least the next hour and often the whole day. We see that in our lives and we suspect you see it in yours.
Moving forward on the things that matter to you requires that you take back the control over your agenda and do those things that really matter to you – not just those things that show up in your inbox.
There are three things to do to start to change your relationship with your email:
1. Teach those people who rely on you and matter to you that you are making a change.
- Let them know that you are feeling overwhelmed by your email and that it’s added a level of stress to your day that is wearing you down (people are more supportive of these kinds of efforts when they understand the personal toll).
- Let them know that you will be checking email twice a day, at ___ am and ___ pm.
- Tell them that if they need you urgently outside of those times they should reach out via phone.
- Help them understand what you consider urgent.
2. Set a time to check your email twice a day and stick with it.
- When you find yourself getting ready to check email outside your committed times, do something active to intervene, and help break the habit to open email.
3. Spend less then one hour each time you check email, responding as concisely as you can and identifying things that need additional follow-up.
- Those things should be added to your agenda in a time slot that reflects their level of priority.
Remember, how you spend your moments is how you spend your life. Use your moments wisely.