“The thing that cowardice fears most is decision.”
–Soren Kierkegaard (1813–1855)
Danish philosopher and writer
What if you checked email only 3 times a day?
For just over a week, we’ve been doing this as a team at JustSell to see if it helps us.
Check and handle email upon arrival then check and handle email at lunch. Check and handle email after 4 pm. At home, check it all you’d like (but hopefully that won’t be more than once a day).
Here’s what we’ve learned so far…
- We recognized our addiction to checking email.
- We identified how it’s become a default task (automatically checking it when returning from a discussion, meeting, trip to the bathroom, etc.).
- We saw how we sometimes use it to hide out from our more important work (“If I’m addressing email, I’m doing something. It may not be important in the long term but at least I’m of use at this moment.” – Do you see the problem with this thinking?).
- We learned that our email could wait* and that as the day came to an end, we were more productive and happier. (Although the first few days were very uncomfortable and had us oddly distracted by our lack of distraction.)
Why is it that we would allow ourselves to be distracted from what we rationally know to be our more important work that gets us closer to our goal of making good things happen?
Our next step here… Drop the morning check and look at it only twice a day. A few people have already passed out by thinking about it.
(how to check email 3 times a day)
“The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions. The door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed. Or that lovely poem that didn’t get written because someone knocked on the door.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)
American civil rights leader
Nobel Peace Prize recipient
* Our customer service people check email hourly in order to be sure we’re addressing customer needs quickly. We don’t believe we’ve lost any sales and we’ve had no negative feedback on our response times.
** And if we still have your attention… This spelling of the word indicates a deeper level of crazy – so cwazy that we’d spell it cwazy. You think that’s crazy?