Today I quit email at work. No longer will I be concerned with managing a torrent of emails every day. No more. I was inspired to tackle this challenge after seeing Asana’s blog post “30 Days Without Email“. Being a heavy user of Asana I figured this approach makes perfect sense so why not give it a go. It’s going to take a lot of dedication and I’m sure a few eyebrows will be raised from colleagues, but it’s time to stop “doing email” and start being productive. So how can I work without email and why would I want to? Let’s find out.
When my professional life first started all I needed to be concerned with was my email and selling stuff. Simply read what’s coming in and figure out if a reply was needed. That’s about it. Or so I thought. The truth be told, there were “inboxes” everywhere and I had to figure what to do with each of them. When the penny dropped for me about what an inbox really is, it was a game changer.
It happens to just about all of us. We enable the “out of office” notification on our email client, pack our bags and head off on a well-deserved vacation. Only we never really leave the office. There’s still the barrage of emails and phone calls that come through and our phone is relentlessly buzzing and beeping, holding us back from enjoying our vacation.
As you prepare for your next vacation have hope! Follow these simple rules to ensure a happy holiday and a productive return to work.
There has been plenty of discussion about Inbox Zero since Merlin Mann first presented the concept and yet it’s still relatively unknown as to what it actually is and how to achieve it. Merlin has blogged that Inbox Zero is not about emptying your inbox. That it is not about waiting for email to arrive so that you can do something about. He writes that it is a state of mind. A sense of freedom. That you are not your inbox.
Sanebox has published an amazing list of 100 tips, tricks and hacks to help you get back in control of your email inbox and even get to inbox zero.
If you find you’re spending far too much of your time trapped in your email inbox, here is a very simple tip to free you from its evil clutches. Many scores of people use Microsoft Outlook, or some other desktop email application. While web mail tools such as Google Apps are amazing, and should be adopted by many more business, there is still this fear of the “cloud”, but that’s a whole other store. That fear leads companies to continue to use systems such as Microsoft Exchange to handle email. Anywhere that Exchange is used basically means that all employees will be using a desktop email application, and it will most likely be Outlook.
There are a lot of applications out there that are aimed at helping you be more productive, either individually, or as a team. However, there are just as many, or maybe more, that make you unproductive. In today’s day and age, the biggest killer of productivity is email.
In my time sitting a desk in a 9-5 job, I’ve learned a couple of very effective strategies for managing email and the time spent in the inbox.