Email overwhelm is probably something you can relate to on some level. There are times as it piles up that I just want to hit select all and then DELETE!. How about you?
I used to feel getting tons of email was great. A feeling of self importance. And responding immediately to each one kept me connected to my world around me. As a solopreneur working from home that was the perception. I didn’t realize, though, the impact it had on me leaving money on the table limiting my businesses profit.
The distraction of email overwhelm
Now I used to get quite a few emails every day but not a crazy amout. Do you get more than 20 emails a day? More than 50? More than 100?
Are you the type of person who cannot resist looking every time that chime goes to say another email has arrived?
When your email count gets into the dozens and maybe hundreds a day, especially when combined with a need to look every time the notification chime rings, you are leaving money on the table. The distraction of turning your attention to the chime, even if you only read the subject heading or the brief synopsis, then return your attention to your work and having to reset where you were and start working again takes time. Each time you do that it adds up. Just think of the waste of hundreds of emails a day in wasted time.
Add in the likelihood that a great many of those emails are either junk, someone else urgency, or something someone else ought to be dealing with and it all adds up to a hit on your productivity and your ability to focus on what matters most.
What to do about email overwhelm
If you are a business owner who gets overwhelmed by the volume of email you get and by the distraction it causes, consider these changes.
- Turn off email notifications on your smartphone and tablet. Only check and respond to email when you consciously choose to.
- Quit your computer email software program while you are working so that you can focus on the task at hand.
- Check and respond to emails a maximum of 3 times per day. For instance, when you begin work in the morning, at mid day, and at the end of the day. It will become habit and others will gradually adapt to your new email boundaries.
- Clear your email inbox every day. You’ll feel so good in doing so. Unsubscribe to that which is of limited value. Read and delete that which is of value to you. Forward emails and delegate responding to them to people who are capable of taking this off your plate.
Of course there are many other steps you can do with respect to email overwhelm but these are a great start to you taking back control over your email situation. Do so and you’ll reclaim some freedom in your day.
With that freedom within your business you can then choose to turn your focus, time, and energy to the things that matter most. The work you are passionate about doing. The work you are the absolute best at doing. The work that has the greatest impact on your business.
In the end you’ll be happier, more productive, and your business will thrive.
You might even find that you have time to embrace freedom from your business (even if it’s just a short while) to enjoy quality family time, social connection with friends, or getting out to live an active, healthy lifestyle.
All great steps that can some by simply addressing email overwhelm!
**NOTE** Email overwhelm is only one of many types of distraction business owners face. If overwhelm and the stress it causes has you wishing things were different but unsure how to create the change you need, then we really should talk. Contact me and lets arrange to do so.