When email first hit the scene many experts were touting the end of snail mail. After all they said email can be sent for free, it was instant and you were able to potentially receive a reply to your communication faster than it would take you to drop of your snail mail at your local post office. Decades on email has certainly far from replaced the use of snail mail. In fact in many respects all email has done is added another communication channel and increased the use of all the other communication methods as well. We have essentially increased our burden of correspondence by creating an instant method of communication.
As such we are finding more and more people becoming stressed and much of the cause is their email. We are inundated with spam and with the fact that email is so quick and easy people are resorting to sending a message via email that would otherwise not have been sent had email not existed.
Email also causes frustration and irritation due to its very nature as being instant. People expect replies within 24hrs and get frustrated when this is not met.
So how can you reduce your stress that is caused by email and take back control over your communication channel.
1. Check your email once a day. The problem is that we keep getting distracted throughout the day as email keeps dropping into our inbox. We have this nagging need to read and check it as though it were an urgent matter. The reality is that most emails aren’t urgent and constantly stopping what you are focused on can really waste many hours a day on lost productivity and efficiency. A simply tip is therefore to set aside a time block each day to check all your emails in one go. 2. Read email only once and deal with it. There is no point reading an email and then skipping to the next one without replying to it. Deal with all your emails once. If it doesn’t necessitate a reply then delete it, if it does then write the reply then and there. If the email requires your careful consideration to write out a proper response then at least write the draft and save it in your drafts folder. The idea is that by reducing your handling of your emails you will reduce the nagging stress associated with knowing that you need to deal with the email sitting in your inbox.
3. Don’t get overloaded. Don’t let your inbox get overloaded. If you know certain people sent you email that don’t need to be dealt with instantly such as personal emails, jokes etc then create a folder and have those email’s automatically put into the folder for you to read at a later date. Stress is often caused when you feel overwhelmed with how many emails are sitting unattended in your inbox so get rid of those that are taking up space.
At the end of the day you don’t have to allow emails to get the better of you. It is just another tool available to you so your in control. By following a few simple steps you needn’t get stressed and frustrated by your emails again.
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