During snowstorms and heat waves, come rain or shine, Monday morning always rolls around. With our coffee/tea mug in hand, we bravely start up our computer, sign-in and hold our breath…. waiting to see just how many e-mail are waiting for us.
E-mailing, one of the most widely used forms of communications in our day and age has become a normative mode of interaction between individuals.
In fact, it has been predicted that e-mail, for both business and personal use, will increase from 2.5 billion users in 2014 to more than 2.8 billion by 2018.
An interesting article recently published in Psychology today* goes on to state that 28% of our work day is dedicated to e-mailing with an average of 121 emails sent out and received on a daily basis. It seems that reading and answering e-mails has become a full-time job in and of it itself.
Without a doubt, e-mail has many advantages. But what about the negative side-effects we receive in attachment with every new message with receive and send? In fact, the article goes on to state that e-mail correspondence has been proven to increase both blood pressure and rate heart.
In light of this, here are a few ways to avoid the stress that comes with checking your inbox :
- Set a Schedule
Set specific times throughout the day dedicated to reading and answering e-mails.
For example, give yourself 30 minutes in the morning, 15 before and after lunch and another 30 minutes before heading off for the day.
- Separate and Conquer
In general, separating business and pleasure is always a good idea. When it comes to e-mailing, the same is true.
Have different accounts for business and personal purposes.
Tip : Take the organization one step further. Use folders to help with managing e-mails from different people and about different tasks and priorities.
- Stop. Breath.Type.
When you receive those time consuming, tedious or stressful e-mails, take a breather between clicking reply and send. Make a cup of tea, have a snack or take a short walk to clear your mind. This will allow you to be more efficient and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to answer.
- Savior Templates
Make it simple but significant. Create personalized templates that can be used to quickly respond to standard messages, questions and demands.
For messages that require long answers, it is sometimes more advantageous for both parties to discuss by phone. This will allow you to save time, energy and reduce stress leaving your mind free to tackle and complete other projects and tasks.
We often forget that e-mail was made to simplify our lives. If used properly and within limits, this tool can be beneficial. It is important to understand that although ingenious, sometimes technology can cause more harm than good: It’s all about how we use the tools we are given that define just how productive and pleased we are at the end of the day.
*’This is your brain on gmail’ by Emma Seppala, Ph. D, Psychology Today. (February 2015, New York)
Photo credit : Derek Gavey