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Are you receiving enough emails?


Asked no one. Ever. I’m yet to meet someone who has complained about not receiving enough emails. We email reminders to each other, diary invites, queries and most of us have at least 1 personal email address in addition to our work address to check each day. A survey in the US last year noted that workers spend over 6 hours per day on emails that’s almost a full working day! In another survey 77% of UK workers notes that a productive day in the office was clearing their inbox!

Email is of course a useful tool but it can also be very disruptive. How many times do you head in to the office with a job to do and you turn on your emails only to be sidetracked by an email that “needs to be answered straight away” (if this was the case the customer would surely pick up the phone and call you). I used to get distracted by the ping of a new email in my inbox and if it was a “quick” query I would try and respond to get it out the way. Invariably by answering straight away another email came back a couple of minutes later and before long I was effectively in an instant messaging conversation and the job I had been working on was taking me twice as long to complete or worse still was discarded completely until the next day. The more emails you send the more you get in return – it’s a vicious cycle!

I’ve now turned off my email messages popping up and the dreaded ping! I try to give myself a task to do each morning and check my emails in the afternoon. Finally, at every opportunity I pick up the phone to call my clients and answer any queries – it takes less time, there is less chance of tone being misconstrued and it helps me connect with my clients. I’m now less distracted, more efficient and great relationships with my clients.

What little things could you do today that will have a huge impact on your work / life?