URGENT! ANSWER MY EMAIL! NOW!

by Productivity

Have you ever received an email that you were expected to answer immediately?

Are you someone who sends an email and expects people to answer immediately?

Repeat after me
Email is never urgent. Email is never urgent. Email is never urgent.

Is the first item on your job description ‘Read and answer emails'? Unless you are in customer service, I bet it isn't, however that's what most people spend their day doing. Do you suck at the email drip? Do you let your email determine your day? Email is another person's agenda.

Am I saying don't read email? Of course not! But reading email all day long isn't productive. Email is a process. I can give a 90-minute workshop just on email processing because there are so many ways to make it productive. I generally check my personal email once per day and my work email up to four times per day but no more. In four years I have never had anyone tell me I didn't get back to them soon enough.

The first step in behavior change? Turn off your notifications on your phone. I hardly check my email on my phone and when I do, I only open the ones that I know will be quick answers or I won't have to research or set up to task later. Why? Because if I can't do anything about it, why open it?

How often do you check email? Are you an urgent sender or recipient? If you resonate with this post – feel free to share (especially with those urgent senders!)

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Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects