I am constantly challenged by email.
On the one hand, I love it!
I am subscribed to all sorts of interesting people. Almost everything I learn online comes to me through email. I love hearing from people who read my work. And it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends.
The problem is, I often check it far more than I need to. I could still read all the emails and answer all that I need to, without the constant checking.
I am now, however, a fan of seriously restricting how I use it. The rewards are incredible. I get at least twice as much done in a day. Often more. And, when I do use it, I’m more focused and clear headed.
It makes sense when you think about it.
Every time you check your email it breaks up your rhythm. While you’re busy seeing who has emailed you, you’re filling in the spaces where creative ideas pop up in. It stops us figuring out the really hard stuff.
Consider these 6 strategies for using email successfully:
- Don’t have your email application open in the background—Close. It. Down.
- Read and answer emails at set times—once or twice a day
- Set up “rules” so favorite emails go straight into a folder to read later
- Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read—not my newsletter!! Just kidding. Even mine, if it’s cluttering up your life.
- Answer emails when you read them—for those emails that take less than 5 minutes to respond to.
- Remove email from your phone—or at least turn of the bleep that signals a new message
Please please please inspire me with stories of what you get done when you limit how you use it! I’d love to hear from you!
PS: The title of this email was inspired by the very wonderful book The War of Art, by Stephen Pressfield. A must read it you want to create anything! It talks about the resistance we feel at the end of a project that can completely derail us if we’re not careful.
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The War on Email