In the early days of the internet, email was all the rave. Suddenly, you could send a long message to someone across the world and they would receive it in seconds. You didn’t have to post a letter that would take weeks to deliver. Eventually, email was replaced by Instant Messaging and social networks as the preferred means of instant communication. However, email continues to be used for official communication.
Email has become a productivity death trap for many. It’s easy for anyone to send you an email or copy you in one. Unfortunately, very few people get paid to read and process emails. Unless you are a personal assistant to an Executive or work in Customer-care, you probably don’t fall into this category.
When someone sends you an email, you have to create time to process the information and decide what to do about it. While that is going on, you are unable to work on other tasks. A common mistake many people make is to check all email as soon as it arrives. Some people check their emails first thing in the morning. This is a bad idea. You can never know what an email contains until you open it. To open your email first thing in the morning is to allow someone else dictate your priorities for the day.
Many people are afraid to leave their email inbox alone because they still view email like social media. The fear of missing out on something important keeps them glued to their inbox. The truth is, it’s almost impossible to miss anything important if you create a system for checking your email. If it’s urgent, they are not going to send it via email. They will call you.
In order to stop email becoming a constant worry on your mind. You need a system for processing it. Look at it this way, in the olden days, most offices used files to keep papers. In order to process those files, you must create a simple in and out system. Otherwise, you end up with lots of files on your desk and can’t find anything when you need to. Email has become the digital version of paper files. If you fail to put a system in place for processing your inbox, it will take over your life. Next week’s post will provide you with basic guidelines for processing your email. If you are not following this blog, make sure you do so you don’t miss it.