When I wake up each morning, I reach for my phone and refresh my email inbox to check for new emails. Once I’m ready for the day, I refresh my inbox… and then again… and yet again. This continues until the evening. Yes, we all do this – but how productive is this habit? Can this serve as an addiction over productivity?
It is normal to check our email when necessary, but it is important to know how to maintain a healthy relationship with it. Fixatedly checking your email can be stressful which then affects your overall health and productivity. It is a vicious cycle. The question is, how? Here are a few tips:
Understand Why You Do It
We want to be quick to respond to our emails but by doing this, it requires decision making. This may look as if you are quick on your feet, however responding quickly does not always mean productivity. The time used by checking your email can be time used by working hard on your latest project. Sometimes, we check our email as an anxiety filler. Checking your email can be used in downtime to fill voids leading to anxiety and rumination but this is not a good solution to that. Email checking can also be a nervous habit. You check your email frequently when you’re waiting for meeting to start, before you go on break and as soon as you get back to your desk. Now that you’ve done that, your habit will exist on that specific motivation.
Find a Balance and a New Routine
Start by making new choices. Set a number for yourself. Tell yourself you will only check your email 3-5 times a day and respond to emails then. Make sure you are closing your email tab when you’re working on your projects and only open when necessary. Turn off push notifications in your email settings. If you need to fill the void of anxiousness or need a new habit, read an article online or write in your agenda. Your changes don’t need be drastic, however you can start by lessoning the time frames in which you refresh your inbox.
Reflect on Yourself
Try not to email after work hours. If you do, try not to send until the next morning. Find a schedule that works for you and dedicate yourself to it. Have a cut off time for yourself every evening and stay by that rule.
Email is just a tool. It has become a big part of our lives, but we cannot let it take over our lives. This pertains to technology in general. If we do not learn how to shut it off, it can ruin our mental peace and productivity. Find your happy medium and take control of your habits.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success if found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell