SOS mailbox overload!
According to sources, a large majority of us sleep with our smartphone within reach. Me too. Reasons quoted to me indicate that this is not healthy. The blue light keeps me from sleeping. The morning display makes my eyes dry. And yet… It does gives me a strange sense of safety or security. I can’t say exactly what it does give me. It’s as if I should be alert at night and wake up immediately. But what was it like before?
Nowadays, there are more people, who just like me, spend their first hour awake reading news websites, looking at their mailbox, scrolling through the previous evening’s tweets and reviewing their diary for the day.
My clients are local governments, cities and municipalities and these are always covered in the news or on social media. I even get push notifications because I set it up that way.
Being overloaded by info, stimulus, etc. It tires me out sometimes. And even though I made a resolution the night before not to look, I still do. I cave in each and every morning.
I am not alone.
Apparently, always desiring stimulus is inherent human behaviour.
It takes a lot of discipline to resist it.
We don’t always have to resist this urge… Those urgent phone calls, colleagues in need, and so on. That email that we just read. I’m glad that I saw some interruptions. According to research, 80% of our interruptions are trivial. In other words, 20% may be urgent , the rest we could just have disregarded. These just interrupt our concentration.
The procedures used to personally organise our work are worthy of a training course.
Both for the trainers and the participants.
I have often heard the remark: “that was really quite useful to me”.
Or, “it would also be good for my partner, boss, colleague.”
In the meantime, we now have a good understanding of how Word, Excel and PowerPoint work…
But do we also have the same understanding of Outlook?
Even though a day doesn’t go by where we have not made thorough use of it.
What is the best way to work with it?
How do you deal with the countless stimuli? Your mailbox is just one of them.
And we haven’t even allowed for the phone calls and colleagues who hang around talking at our desk.
Recently, I was visiting a team who started using a second screen this year. This is because they have to work in parallel with geo plans and files. It was striking how the entire team had their mailbox displayed on their second screen. Is this really how things are? Is it our mailbox that pushes us through our day?
And why is that?
Are we actually working on what we intended to work on?
Or are we just answering our emails?
It is also not to be underestimated that these emails put us under pressure. We believe we have to answer them and that others have the same expectation. We try to be online at all times.
I would not be shocked if next month one particular woman brought a doctor’s note to work rather than 800 unread emails.
The procedures we use to personally organise our work are made up of a starter training, interim coaching and a final training. On the first day, we immediately deal with the mailbox. Pop-ups and other extraneous features are turned off straight away.
Participants no longer close their inbox because they are tired, but because it is empty. And that makes a world of difference.
In addition to the training, a coaching program is taken. And that is even more useful. Personal questions and concerns are part of the agenda en together solutions are found.
Or did this message get lost among the other emails?
Invest in yourself. You’re worth it.