Thank you to Mark Walmsley of the Arts and Culture Network, which is really…
Prioritize your tasks and focus on completing important assignments before checking your email. This ensures that your time and attention are directed toward high-priority activities.
My two cents: I actually document my work plan for the next few hours and for the evening so I know how many blocks of time I need for which work, which deliverables, etc. I can always check my own work plan to see whether I am where I am supposed to be, mentally and on my computer and phone.
Unsubscribe and Filter:
Unsubscribe from unnecessary email subscriptions and use filters to organize and categorize incoming emails. This can help reduce the volume of emails and make your inbox more manageable.
My two cents: While you are at it, make sure they are not charging you monthly on a credit cart you’re not paying attention to. If they are, stop it and ask for a refund. They usually do something to ease the shock and pain of knowing you paid for something you didn’t realize you had been paying for. Be nice. Admit cluelessness. Be thankful.
Create Email Folders:
Organize your emails into folders based on their content or priority. Having a structured system can make it easier to locate and address specific messages when needed.
My two cents:Yes.Yes.Yes.And if you don’t really know how or you’re not good at it, let me know and I’ll post some great resources.
Set Time Limits:
Limit the amount of time you spend checking and responding to emails. Set a timer to create a boundary and avoid excessive, unproductive email checking.
My two cents: I am a Timer Girl! Except in the bedroom, bathtub and a few other places.
Be mindful of your thoughts and behaviors. When you feel the urge to check your email, pause and assess whether it’s a necessary action at that moment.
My two cents: It helps me to write down or say out loud what I am doing to check myself. Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing? When I ask myself this question out loud, my dog looks at me like she knows the answer is no. I’m usually not doing what I need to be doing. I’m usually doing the other thing.
If email checking is driven by anxiety or fear of missing out, explore ways to manage these underlying emotions. This might involve relaxation techniques, stress reduction strategies, or seeking support from a mental health professional.
My two cents: Figure it out! Figure out what your deal is. Why are you focusing on checking email? What are you avoiding dealing with? It may not be rocket science. It may be simple.
Establish Clear Communication Channels:
Communicate with colleagues, friends, or family about the most effective ways to reach you for urgent matters. Having clear communication channels can reduce the need for constant email monitoring.
My two cents: Be prepared for me pushback. But draw your boundaries. I’m a writer and I ask people to text before calling so I can get the call when it’s a good time. Obviously that doesn’t go for time sensitive and emergency matters. But I ask those close to me to not call while I am working and writing. I avoid a lot of unnecessary apologies and awkward back and forths.
Create a To-Do List:
Use a to-do list to prioritize and track tasks. This can help you stay organized and focused on completing specific activities before turning your attention to email.
My two cents: I do it everyday. I call it something different everyday. It’s more fun that way.
Designate Email-Free Zones:
Establish certain areas or times where you commit to being email-free. This can be during meals, evenings, or other designated periods to create a healthy balance.
My two cents: YES. YES. YES
Implement a reward system for yourself. For example, if you successfully limit your email checking for a certain period, treat yourself to a small reward.
My two cents: OH YEAH! And include your dog, cat or other small living creature so they pressure you to do it! My Bella knows when I am getting it done. She can tell when I am transitioning and she knows I will get a treat and she will get attention and a treat. She tells me when it’s time to transition. And I have to listen because she gets annoying if she needs to tell me more than a few times.
And lastly, a note from ChatGPT: Remember that breaking habits takes time, so be patient with yourself as you work on reducing obsessive email checking. If the behavior persists and significantly impacts your daily life, consider seeking support from a mental health professional for further guidance.
And two more cents: Go forward, get out there and get your day operating under some sort of easily regulated and highly rewarded game plan.
And one more cent: I used to be proud of being a rapid responder to email. It turned out that my responses are better when I think about them for a bit before sending them. When I let them marinate. Lesson learned. I’m not one to ignore an obvious way to make my life easier and less stressful. I can take my time. Unless it’s urgent. But usually it’s not. And having time to respond is really helpful. It gives me time to think about my response. Now I am a relaxed responder more often than a rapid responder. It changes the tone of the interaction from urgent to standard operations. And it’s nice when urgency is saved for the transactions that are urgent.
Happy Woo Hoo Wednesday.
Remember to text me before you call.
xoxo, d (and bella)
P.S. You don’t have to be obsessed about email to use this list. Maybe you can’t stop checking your phone for texts. Or checking websites for updates. Or whatever. Whatever you can’t stop doing, the tips above can be used for. Try it!