1: Email Causes Mood Swings
Email, like an addiction, can cause a big change in your moods. When you check your email you are sometimes rewarded with exciting information, responses to your own emails, or new information. All of these things cause excitement. But when you send emails and are waiting for responses, we can become grumpy and unfocused. By setting up boundaries with our emails we can control these feelings, and get out of the email “addiction”.
2: Email Causes Open Loops
Open loops are commitments to yourself or others that pull your attention away from where it should be. You can think of them as the nagging thoughts that you have on your brain, that you haven’t yet dealt with. How does email cause this? By using your email inbox as an “in-tray”, many emails are left unread, or unfinished. Seeing all these messages can cause stress and anxiety every time you must be in your email. Through our Master Class we will be looking at how to process emails to reduce open loops, and reduce your anxiety surrounding email.
3: Email is Easy
Did you know that for every 5 emails that a person sends, they get three in response? That’s a lot of email! It so easy to send a quick email when we need something, but if we don’t always look at whether it is the best form of communication for what we want, our inbox can easily get buried with responses. With email it is also very easy to hit “reply-all” or “cc” people when we aren’t sure who should all be kept in the loop on an email, but that easy decision is not always the right one. Taking a moment to think about what you are sending and to who, can save you a lot of unnecessary responses in your inbox!
4: Email is Non-Confrontational
Along with being an easy way to communicate, email is also the least confrontational way to communicate. It seems much easier to send off a critical email, than to have a face-to-face meeting that you know is going to be a difficult conversation. Emails can be misconstrued, misread, and content can be misunderstood. Emailing can become a crutch for these difficult areas of work, and should not be treated as the default mode of communication.
5: Email Causes You to Lose Track of Time
It is very, very easy to lose track of time when you check your email. When you log into your email inbox to answer one request, it is very easy to get sucked into trying to answer or clear the backlog that has been waiting to be opened or responded to. Many times, we are opening the same emails over and over again because we haven’t yet made the decision on how to reply, or more work is required before we can respond. It becomes very easy to lose track of time as our attention is hopping from one subject line to another.
6: Email Causes You to Be Reactive
Rather than being intentional with your time on email, it is very easy to spend time popping in and out of your email inbox, reacting to each email as they come in. This can be a huge time-waster as there may be more back and forth if you send unprepared or incomplete responses, as you consistently shift your attention from one topic to another, or as you misread intentions and must got back and forth. In this Master Class we will be looking at how you can become proactive with your email to save you time and stress.
7: Email Lacks Nuance
When you are in conversation with people, you understand their meaning better by listening to their tone of voice or seeing their facial expressions. Email lacks the ability to read these cues, and as a result it can be easy for recipients to mis-understand the meaning of email. Emails can also be misunderstood because often they are quickly written, and the wording can be careless. When we are in reactionary mode in our email, all the nuances of a quick conversation will be overlooked.
8: Email Decision Making Drains our Energy
Each email in our inbox demands a decision from us. What do we have to do with this email? Answer it immediately? Research contents? Read it and file it? Delete it? Etc. If we fail to take control of our email inbox, then you are looking at a full inbox and making these mini-decisions, over and over again. Decision Fatigue can cause you to make hasty decisions, or shut down completely. By organizing your email inbox, and knowing your options as you go in and process your email, can reduce this fatigue greatly and reduce the stress that occurs when checking your email.
9: Email Limits Collaboration
If you are trying to collaborate with a group of people, moving the conversation over to email can be a quick way for the communication to break down. Email doesn’t allow for the interactivity and immediate feedback that speaking to people in person does. In fact, there are many times you can get sucked into long email chains that could have more effectively been face to face communications. By taking conversations away from email, collaboration can be improved, better ideas can be shared and built upon, and better work can be done.
10: Email Causes You to Lose Focus
Checking your email while trying to do your other work activities can reduce your effectiveness at both tasks and decreases your quality of work. In fact, a University of Utah study found that it can take 15 minutes or longer to mentally get back to intense mental tasks after checking email. With this loss of focus, it is important to ensure that you are not over-checking your email. In our course we will look at learning to be intentional with our time on email, so you can focus on the tasks that matter to your work.
Visit Elizabeth’s Master Class for more ways to control your email.
About Elizabeth Stefani
Elizabeth Stefani is a Professional Organizer who works with busy professionals in home offices and small businesses of all kinds. Her passion for organizing comes from seeing her clients transform from overwhelmed to organized, and reclaiming control of their office environment. She helps people get more done, in less time, with less stress by implementing custom organizing techniques, proven to help busy people thrive. Visit her website.