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When I started sharing with some people what I thought about e-mail and the implication it has on our lives, I received the following feedback:
Sorry, but that’s stupid.
Let me give a little more context…
We human beings are always dependent on things. Dependent on things that we ourselves have to accomplish, and also, dependent on things that others have to do.
In relation to ourselves, we are usually always procrastinating what we have to do (human beings are just like that), and for this our mind makes us visit our e-mail, social networks, smartphone, and other things that at that moment we did not need to do and that are not really important.
Taking the e-mail example, I leave you with the following question: how many times a day do you consult e-mails?
I don’t know the magic result, but I believe in this study:
The problem is that we don’t visit e-mail. It is always open. (The same problem applies to social networks, chats and notifications).
I also believe that if email is always open, our life is always commanded by the pressure of the notification of a new email or some fire to put out (many times my mood and motivation was affected by emails I received first thing in the morning).
Because I want to be more productive and do things with my life that matter, I stopped having my e-mail open. More than that, I only visit it twice a day.
I visit e-mail every day at noon and in the evening. This means that I don’t check e-mail in the morning.
At least with me, whenever the first thing I did in the morning was to check email, my morning was immersed in things I had to resolve and take care of that depended on the emails I received, and sometimes those things were non-important / non-urgent.
Since I use Agile as my own work methodology, now what I do first thing in the morning, inversely to opening email, is open Trello (my task manager), and start doing things that really need to be done and that are important and urgent (I usually start with the most boring tasks) and so I can be in charge of my professional life. Since I make weekly plans, I know what I am going to do on each day of the week and as I receive emails that imply actions on my part, these are placed in my task manager to be accomplished.
Allied to this, I try to have my inbox at zero, notifications off and I use applications like boomerang, Pipedrive and follow up.cc to help me organize this tool that changed the way we work and communicate, called e-mail.
Oh, in case of any fires that I really need to put out, it’s easy, call me.
Of course, this model may not apply to all types of work styles. Customer care people should check their emails in the morning, I recommend it 😊.
You might also like to read: Zero Notifications