All the mental health articles tell us to, but do you ever manage to leave your email behind? I’ll admit that it’s the first thing I check when I get up in the morning, and I usually check it again right before I get ready for bed. Not because there is usually anything urgent, but it’s more of a habit than anything else. There are some days, though, where we do want to leave email behind. Vacation time, baby leave, even sick days are times when you might not be in your inbox regularly. I know that as entrepreneurs, ignoring email isn’t really an option. However, there are things you can do to manage expectations for those who are trying to get in touch with you when you’d rather be out of touch.
If you need to be away from your email, or just aren’t going to be able to check it frequently, set an out of office style message. I’ve received auto responses from people that said “Hi! I check my mail once in the morning and once in the afternoon, and will follow up with you shortly. If this is urgent, please feel free to call me.” Although this person probably wasn’t out of the office, I knew that they would get back to me, just not right away. If it had truly been an urgent matter, the phone was right there.
Another option if you want to be or need to be away from your email as much as possible, is to create canned responses. These are template answers to your most common questions. Although the how varies, you can set up templates in most email programs. Having a set of canned responses means that when you do check your email you can take two minutes to customize an already created response rather than taking 5 or more minutes writing one from scratch. No, this won’t cover all emails you receive but should help out some.
Finally, if you have to be away from your email but can’t quite leave it behind, set a schedule for when you’ll check it. Like above, pick a time in the morning or a time in the afternoon and try to stick with it. It might also help to turn off those notifications you get on your phone or computer. You don’t need the digital equivalent of a toddler tugging at your clothes every time an email arrives. Email isn’t going away, but we can manage it, instead of letting it manage us!
Interested in more productivity tips? Schedule a Discovery Call and let’s talk about how to get you more time and less stress!