Many times it is the culture of the organization that dictates how often workers need to check their email, how they use it, when they turn it on and off.
Our newly released white paper, Email Culture – Are You Managing It? is a free six page white paper that will not only get you thinking, but offers solutions that any leader should consider. Visit http://InboxDetox.com/gift to down load it.
We are challenging bosses across America to give workers what they really want: a No-Email Holiday. Spurred on by a recent study by Xobni that found that 59 percent of Americans check their inboxes on holidays, we are offering you a free whitepaper on email productivity to managers who sign up to power down the inbox on December 25th.
Take the pledge: Pledge to NOT check your email on December 25, and tell your employees they’re not expected to either. Entering your info below signifies your agreement to following the pledge.
Your reward for taking the pledge: You will receive this helpful white paper:
“Your Email Culture – Are You Managing It or is It Managing You?” by providing your email address below. Note – you are on your honor to have taken this pledge and shared it with your staff to have earned the free white paper:
The thin line between work and “time off” has all but disappeared. According to the Xobni survey, almost 6 out of 10 workers check their email during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of this number, 42 percent feel they have to check their email to stay up-to-date, 41 percent are irritated by it, and 12 percent even “dread” seeing emails about work.
All workers need boundaries and they need breaks,it’s up to managers to define the culture of email use. If they send emails to their staff at 10:30 at night on a Saturday, they cause workers to feel like they need to be constantly connected to their inboxes, even on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday. This can be incredibly harmful to the quality of workers’ personal lives and their productivity at work.
Support your workers by taking part in the No-Email Holiday. Participate by taking the above pledge to encourage employees not to check or send work related emails on December 25th.
Here is a sample written announcement that can be copied and sent out to the company to promote the observance. Please use it or change it to fit your preferences.You might consider extending the number of days for the “email holiday” too!
Let’s take an “email holiday” this season!
Please note that on December 25th I will not be sending or checking the office email. Instead, I will be spending time with family and friends and encourage all of you to do so as well. If something is truly urgent, please contact the person you need by phone. Otherwise, enjoy the No-Email Holiday, and we will resume back to work on ______.
Enjoy Your Holiday,
The signup is available above and all managers that do will receive an email with the link for the free whitepaper that contains strategies and tips on effective email culture management based on the book the Inbox Detox. However, all participants must make sure to sign up before December 24th. We will not be checking our inboxes on Christmas.
Sure, those messages that constantly interrupted you will show up. But they’ll show up in a group. That’s a good thing. Instead of looking up and handling or viewing these messages one at a time, you will actually create a more productive process of sorting through those new messages. Grouping similar tasks has always been a great time management practice, and this is no different.
If you go into your inbox (remember – when YOU choose) with the intention of sorting and setting priorities for those newly received messages, you’ll be able to triage your work in folders, and set reminders so that you’ll work on the right tasks at the right time.
When you decide that YOU will control how you manage your email, and not the reverse, you’ll find time that you didn’t know you had. Newly flashing email messages can interrupt you all day long if you let them. So don’t let them. The default setting on most email programs is for your messages to “ding” the millisecond they show up on your server. You can, and should change these settings and turn them off.
Interruptions disturb your productive work, and it takes precious time to get back to exactly where you were on that specific task. Grab your email messages when YOU decide to, not when they decide to show up. Every interuption takes the average person an average of 4 minutes to recover. So every interruption you avoid will find you 4 minutes.
Just for fun, we’ve come up with some thought provoking (ok, silly) ways to tell if you’re addicted to your email and inbox:
•You email yourself if you haven’t received email for several minutes, just to make sure the email system hasn’t gone down…
•You look up EVERY time your computer “BRRRINGS” to announce an email…
•You name your pets Mozilla, Firefox and Google
•You name your kids Mozilla, Firefox and Google
•You get upset if you don’t receive a response to your email message in an hour…
•You refer to yourself as your email address when someone asks your name
•You email someone who has thanked you, thanking him or her for thanking you.
•You stop what you are doing to answer an “easy” email, even tho’ it might not be the most important, JUST to knock it off the list…
•You check your email the minute you get outa bed… even if it is the middle of the night
•You ask new acquaintances for their email addresses, not their phone numbers…
•You open your email first, before doing anything else…
•You sleep with your Blackberry nestled under your arm
•You keep more than 1000 items in your inbox at all times…
•You click “send/receive” just to make sure you haven’t “missed” any email…
•You check your spam filters hourly (or less) to make sure you’re not missing anything…
•You email the person sitting in the desk next to you, rather than turn around to ask the question…
Have any others? We’d love to see them… Comment below.
Concerned that you might truly be addicted? Listen to our interview with Dr. Joel Schwartz on the subject.
So now that you’ve decided to turn off the flashes, bells, and whistles, that signal the arrival of new-found treasure, you can get your head outta your inbox and do some great work. By scheduling those times, you will be able to count on productive “inbox down” times throughout the day.
Don’t worry, the sky won’t fall in if you shut your inbox down for several half hour (or even hour) intervals–we’ve all been in meetings that lasted at least that long. Remember, when your inbox is minimized, your productivity is maximized.
People everywhere struggle with how to manage their inboxes. Try this approach:
Sort rather than work.
I liken the viewing of the newly received email as a “sort” function rather than a “work” function. Some items could take a long time to handle, and not be urgent. These should be set up with reminders for the time to start the task and build it into your weekly or daily plan. Kind of like the triage nurse in the hospital’s emergency room – they sign everyone in, then handle in the right priority. Give it a try… You might like it.
To find out what you consider to be the greatest sources of Information Overload, both for you individually and for your organization, as well as to understand how these challenges are being addressed, the research firm, Basex, developed a survey that asks you to share your thoughts on this topic.
Please click here to take the survey.
Participants will receive an Executive Summary of the survey’s findings and can also enter a drawing to win a set of Dilbert CubeGuard information overload blockers (three sets will be awarded). Please share the survey link with colleagues who should be interested in the results.
Urgent emails are toxic to your organization because they make it nearly impossible for you to shut down your inbox and work on “other stuff.” One “urgent” email from the boss will convey to employees that they must be on top of their emails at all times.
Email is designed for quick, inexpensive, efficient communication, not urgent situations. Encourage your work group to call or visit in an urgent situation.
A great rule of thumb is – if you need it in less than 3 hours, pick up the phone! If you want to download some free posters to help with this, click here.
Facebook’s e-mail release puts me in a quandry.
While I have been working diligently to help people take control of their lives and “own” all of the electronica that flies their way, yesterday’s announcement by Facebook that they are unleashing an e-mail capability makes me say hmmmmmm.
A new e-mail platform means more e-mail. That adds to information overload. Information overload sucks time away from doing what is truly important to us. So my first impression is that this new capability is just another platform that interferes with our lives.
But the way Zuckerberg and Facebook have designed this feeds to the social aspect of electronic communication, rather than the business aspect. It is interesting to note that the platform does not allow for CC’s or BCC’s. Nor does it allow for subject lines. Additionally, readers will see all of the e-mails from the same person at one gander. Finally users can determine from whom they want to receive e-mails or not. This underscores the fact that the e-mail is designed to enhance social interaction, not business cover your butt e-mails.
The people who are on Facebook want to be there, and want to connect with friends and family. If this e-mail platform makes it more convenient, and makes life more enjoyable for those 500 million people on Facebook, who am I to judge? After all, aren’t friends and family one of our most important priorities?