Jun 28, 2016

3 Tips to Break Email Shackles this Independence Day

3 Tips to Break Email Shackles this Independence Day

We bet you're excited that the new Independence Day: Resurgence movie has been released just in time for the Fourth of July long weekend that is coming up. What better celebration than patriotically kicking alien rear off the earth and saving the world? But before you settle down, popcorn in hand, here's a thought: There's a bigger and more realistic threat than aliens to our freedom today. Yes, terrorists and other gun-toting psychos send a shiver down our spines too, but we're referring to a far subtler villain that has enslaved most of the developed world for decades now – Email.

Over the past few years, email has rapidly evolved to become our constant companion, never far away even when we sleep. According to a McKinsey study, email costs an individual over 560 hours a year. 560 hours that could have been spent in productive work or with friends and family have been silently usurped. Email has firmly established itself in every area of our lives that matter, diluting focus at work, creating distractions, destroying concentration, intruding into private moments, degrading social relationships and lowering productivity. Here are 3 simple tips that can help you get rid of the old ball-and-chain and break free this Independence Day!

  1. Use email alternatives
    Email isn't the only communication option available. While it is the first tool that helped us send information to those physically far away, today there are several alternatives including chat apps, work management apps, video calls, etc. that can easily substitute. And if all else fails, you can still bank on the good old telephone to communicate in a snap. For more information on how you can replace email at your workplace, check out our related post on this topic.
  2. Set aside email-free periods every day
    Often, starting your day by checking your inbox is tantamount to digging your own productivity grave. Email sucks you into its never-ending cycle of reading, responding and filing, the minute you open your inbox. And before you know it, your work day is over and you've barely got anything done! The best way to avoid this time suck is to schedule your email interactions so that there are definite email-free periods available throughout the day to let you get more important tasks done.
  3. Set priorities
    Email notifications arriving during your downtime can be irritating. But it would be irresponsible to ignore all notifications while away from work, since some of them could possibly be urgent or important and require your immediate attention. So does that mean you are held hostage to every “ding” on your phone? Not necessarily. Explore your email client's settings and you will find that during your time off, it is quite possible to mute notifications of all incoming email except from those contacts that you mark as “VIP”. This way you can ensure you won't be disturbed in the middle of quality time with friends or family, unless it is urgent.


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