Last week we discussed that concentration is what has your attention in the moment. Your focus is an effort to set your mind to a target in the future. Another point is that focus and concentration can be disrupted by distractions and multitasking, such as email. This week I will help you become more productive, reduce stress, and mitigate email disruptions so you can meet your goals more efficiently.
The Truth About Your Email Habits
Email can be a blister in your productivity. A study done in 2013 showed the average person receives about 21 emails a day and checks their inbox 11 times per day. Which is around every 20 minutes and it takes a person about 15 minutes to get back on the right track after a distraction. You do the math. Not very productive.
The quickest way to communicate and leverage technology is to use Skype and other video chats. Video chat does not take not much effort to use, you get face-to-face interaction with immediate results. No waiting for a reply, no drafting, editing, or proofreading emails before you send. Email is for sharing documents and we have other technology that proves better than email to share. Email is not vanishing anytime soon due to our reliance on it, but email is the slowest form of communication we have and can be unproductive is misused.
“From a very granular standpoint I encourage all of my managers to hold regular video calls with their at-home colleagues.” – Joe Cowan, CEO of Epicor
How to Add More Luxury Time to Your Day
You should only check your email twice a day at most. I stick to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Switch off your notifications so you are not distracted. This gives you a chance to begin your day and be productive. You will be able to build on your concentration without anything nagging at you. The greater part of your day is used up crafting emails instead of getting work done. At 4 p.m. you can check back to ensure there are no quick responses or fires to address before departing for the day. This also allows you to check and see which emails require a response and if they take two minutes or less you can handle them quickly. If an email will take longer than two minutes, schedule it as a task to complete the next day. Checking email less and at structured times give you more time back to do the things that really matter.
Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master. – Gretchen Rubin
Do away with all the emails you get from the lists you subscribe to. By unsubscribing you are saving yourself time and money. You will not have to filter through junk and you will not be enticed to buy something you had no intent of buying before the thought was put in your head when you opened it. If you really want website updates you can subscribe to an app called feedly which creates a feed of websites you wish to get updates from. With feedly I do not get all the marketing emails and it saves me 15-30 minutes a day from scanning and deleting what’s not of value to me.
Zero Emails We Love
Keep your email inbox empty by responding to emails within 24-48 hours. I wrote a post about how to manage your inbox with folders. Check it out and if you’ve found it useful, let me know about it in the comments below. I know many productivity experts and influencers who use a similar three folder system. Last but not least, don’t send unnecessary emails. You’re just adding to someone else’s clutter and nightmare. Next week we will deal with how social networks disrupt us from achieving our goals.