Join me in this riff about email handling and getting your important work into the world.
- Stop the flood of email and regain your sanity by putting your email client in “offline mode”
- Deal with what you have
- Turn it back on when you’re ready
- The world will not stop spinning or come to an end if you don’t check your email for an hour or two
- Disable all notifications for new messages
- Set the interval that your client checks for mail to never or a high number… you’ll go looking for new messages soon enough
- Disable email on your phone for the weekend and see how it feels
- Over a week, take note of the number of times an instant reply was truly required
- Push against the norms and see what you can get away with
- Is it a negative voice or gremlin that’s telling you that you must check your email?
- Harness that level of clarity you have first thing in the day
- If you wake up with something negative rattling around in your head, write about it. Don’t worry about complete sentences
- Avoid checking and reading the news first thing
- How many of the things you read about can you really respond to or do anything about them?
- Does it matter if you find out about it later?
- How often are you responding to email out of fear of something going wrong or “really bad will happen” versus a conscious activity
- We train people over time how we will respond to to email
- This creates an expectation that we will continue in the same way
- Create a definition of “what really bad” would be for you to get in “trouble” and then reflect on the chances of it happening
- You probably have a track record and history and “deposits in the bank” that mean you can probably afford to goof up
- How much your email checking habit is an ego thing?
- Are you solving everyone else’s problems and avoiding your own by mowing through your email?
- Set a timer and a fixed period of time… preferably a kitchen timer or sand timer (NOT your iDistractor)
- Experiment with the notion of intentional imperfection and see what you learn
- Deep Work by Cal Newport on the importance of focusing and going deep when we work
- Put your thoughts and learnings out into the world! Even if it feels scary
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