Are you running after your e-mail? Do you find yourself checking “just to see” if something important has come up? Think you might be missing something urgent, do you? I know, I know…you’re super important and other important people have important things to tell you. Know how I know? Because I’m super important, too. That’s been my dirty, little secret. My e-mail has been leading me around by my nose, like a love-sick puppy.
I’ve known for some time that e-mails are very distracting and can be a huge time suck for me. So, what did I do? I went out and got a duplicate batch of e-mails on my iPhone. And so the strangle hold tightened. I’ve been letting my e-mail take advantage of me. It sucks to be in a one-sided relationship where I have to do all the work. Deleting e-mails and reconciling mailboxes are not my idea of fun.
Well, now I’ve decided to do something about it (better late than never, right?). I’m three days in and loving it so far. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m on the right track.
Here are a few things I’ve been doing to turn the tables on my e-mail and move into a position of power…or, at least, unhook the leash I’ve been on.
1. Be Monogamous. This one is tough. I’ve been in a relationship with my iPhone and laptop…at the same time…for a long time. I love them both because of what they give me: Access. I want to be connected and I want to know what’s happening in real time. They both give that to me…in double doses…for three separate accounts! *sigh*
Why?? Why would I want to spend time reading e-mails on one device only to have to re-read or figure out what to with them on the other device? I don’t, but, like I said, this one is tough and old habits die hard. I know that to save time and a few brain cells, e-mails really should reside only on one device. This means that I have to find a way to break up with one of my beloved gadgets.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it…yet. I have to be monogamous. Which one should I choose?
2. Turn Off & Push Back. This is not as bad as you think. I haven’t been able to go cold turkey and stop getting mail on my phone (yet), so the next best thing was to turn off push notifications. Instead of getting messages automatically pushed to my phone, I’ve been getting them manually. This has been saving my battery and putting my e-mail in its place. The added bonus: I’m working for blocks of time without the constant interruptions from incoming mail.
This I can continue doing. But, I can do better. I must also disengage from two out of three accounts. Baby steps, yes?
If you’re an iPhone user and want to turn off push notifications, follow these simple steps:
3. Turn On & Enjoy. Ok, so this is exactly what you think it is. This is when I consciously dedicate time to checking and responding to e-mail, instead of constantly poking around my inbox(es). At first, I was salivating at the chance to see which important person sent me uber-important messages. Then, I remembered that the world didn’t end when I wasn’t checking for new e-mails. What a relief to be untethered!
Here’s to healthy relationship with e-mail. Let me know how you’re doing…