Do you know what face that is?....
ZERO INBOX FACE
16,000+ unread emails
Spanning 2014- 2020
My email genuinely makes me feel stressed. Like insidiously stressed for YEARS. I hadn't quite realised how much until I realised I was avoiding ALL comms. Digging a hole that sunk me deeper into the unhelpful strategy of do nothing....
I have tried to use plasters before - installing some software or app to help but it doesn't.
In fact I stumbled across some great articles on just that....
"More technology isn’t the solution to email overload. Better tactics are" John Zeratsky
So what are your tactics? PLEASE SHARE! Clearing is the easy part. Keeping it clear is my next challenge. Veterinary Life Organisation Group (VLOG) is a great source of inspiration for challenges like this.
I used to do a lot of "checking". Panicking and then not doing anything about them. Seems I am not alone...
So what instead?
- Stick to scheduled email time that's in my calendar. A chance three times a day to focus
- Not looking at emails on my phone unless I have time and focus to answer
- Use the 4 Ds approach 1) do it 2) ditch it 3) delegate it 4) defer it (thanks Carolyne Crowe)
"Scheduling my email like this taps into the power of compartmentalization, a long word for a simple idea: Do one thing at a time, do it well, and then move on. The more I compartmentalize my time — in other words, the less I try to multitask — the better, happier, and less stressed I am." John Zeratsky
- Recognize when an email isn’t just an email. To schedule in actioning those bad boys. As it is often the most important emails that I think "I'll write a considered and careful response" and then I either forgot or get the fear and the cycle starts again.
- to write better emails...
"We all owe it to the people in our lives — colleagues, friends, loved ones — to do a better job of writing our emails." Anna Codrea-Rado
But what does this actually look like?
Clear subject lines, calls to action clearly marked and deadlines. And that sacred 4 letter sentence which I often fail to use. "No need to reply"
So what do you do when you clear your inbox for the first time in 6 years? Run out of the house with no bra, no phone, no sense of style and a hell yeah hike. That's how I roll 😎
With love Ebony x
I first published this note on my Instagram account @ebonyescalona and had some great responses that deserve a share too from the veterinary community including..
Jen Gale of Sustainable(ish) : “There’s a massive carbon footprint to all those stored emails too, so you can feel extra smug 🙌🌟💚”
Cal Major of Cal Major - Paddle Against Plastic: “Bloody brilliant. Thanks for sharing these tips! I get massive email anxiety too. My best tip has to be empty a PA. @timeandtidepa has literally changed my life, I now have time and space to do things now I don’t have that constant email pressure in the back of my mind. Someone impartial to approach those big scary bad boys without the emotion it carries for me has been a life changer. Love the “need not reply” idea too :)”