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Showing items posted by Dr Monica Seeley - 269 found.

Email addiction – culture or a mental health problem

Posted Friday February 10th, 2017, 10:54 pm by

Mental health has figured significantly in the media (social and traditional) over the past few weeks. Addiction is often linked to mental health. The most obvious forms being substance, alcohol, gambling and smoking. There are plenty of organisations to help you cope with well documented sources of addiction.

However, what of the hidden addictions like email addiction? Compulsive checking of emails is often hidden behind phrases like ‘my clients/colleagues expect me to be on-line’, ‘it’s part of my job’, ‘what if I miss an email from a key contact’. Are these reasons justified or just a cover up for deeper problems?

We all have extraordinarily busy periods when it can be prudent to check your email frequently and outside normal office hours (eg year end, major project closing, takeover bid etc). For more normal days, what does checking your email every few minutes really tell us?

Maybe you work in an email depend and culture where people rarely walk and talk. Maybe you feel insecure, anxious or lonely. In that case it is symptomatic of a mental health problem.

At a personal level click here to check your level of email-addiction. Then use the top tips below to start breaking the cycle.

  1. Switch off all those new email alerts. Click here to see how to still see emails from key clients.
  2. Limit the number of times you check your email, for example every 30 minutes. Then gradually extend that gap by 10 minutes each week until you reach a more realistic no-email period for your role eg one hour.
  3. Fine yourself if you dip-in between the no-email periods.
  4. Celebrate every time you reach you target time with no dips.
  5. Tell people what you are doing and provide them with an incentive to talk to you instead of using email.

Still addicted, then seek more help. We can help with email addiction.  For the mental health aspects talk to a specialist.

If you work in an email dependent culture then perhaps it is time to make colleagues aware and especially the potential cost to their well-being and mental health.

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Articles of Note on Email Overload & Email Etiquette – February 2017

Posted Friday February 10th, 2017, 10:35 pm by

Hacked emails accounts reveal potentially damaging emails and some off the wall tips on dealing with people who expect an instant response to their emails. Articles of not this month touch on the need to maintain appropriate email etiquette regardless of who you are and whether using a business or personal account.

  1.  David Beckham has given up hope of a knighthood in the near future. David Beckham’s personal email account was hacked and revealed email exchanges venting his anger at not being given a knighthood. They also revealed highly sensitive information about his tax affairs – one reason maybe for no knighthood.
  2. Barclays lied over £73bn cash call emails. A classic case of using your personal email account for very sensitive business matters. The court has still demanded that all these emails are handed over as evidence.Yet again these emails highlight the point that the only control you have over an email is when you choose to send it. After that you have no control over where it goes. Maybe we need to be exercising more control over hitting send in the first place.
  3. Email to gain attention without being pushy. It is not uncommon to receive 100 emails a day and have 2,000+ unread emails in your inbox.’ An extract from Dr Seeley’s latest book Taking Control of Your Inbox. This article focuses on just how to make your email stand out in an already bulging inbox without appearing rude or arrogant.
  4. In a culture that calls for instantaneous responses. This is a prevalent culture wherever you work – private or public sector, charities or academia. Indeed one school academic said you were expected to be a clairvoyant and guess what the parent was writing even before they hit send! Here are some off the wall but nonetheless effective tips. We especially like the DND email.

Do you want to reduce the risk of being the subject of an email fiasco?  Talk to us about how our email best workshops and coaching can help.

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10th International Clean Inbox Week – Day 5 – Keeping a Clean Inbox

Posted Thursday January 26th, 2017, 10:41 pm by

Day 5 – Pulling It All Together

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times. Niccolo Machiavelli

Email overload is stressful and can also be an underlying cause of mental health issues.  Hopefully  you have reduced the email overload, have a clean inbox and improved your productivity and well-being.

Cleaninbox2

Now the trick is to keep your inbox under control and encourage others to follow suit.

Email addiction is one of the major causes of email overload. It’s the feeling that you must constantly check your inbox no matter where you are, what you are doing or what the time of day.  Moreover, we often default to email when of course there are a myriad of other ways to communicate. As many of you will know I am a great fan of pen and paper especially for saying thank you and taking ownership when being asked to do something rather than retorting with ‘send me an email’.

Day five is about taking stock, checking you are not suffering from email addiction and making plans to keep your inbox out of the email overload zone.  Here is our three step plan for the last day.

Step 1  – Check your level of email addiction

Use Mesmo Consultancy’s free Email Addiction self-assessment tool.  Identify your strengths and weaknesses and if necessary seek advice about how to control the urge to have another email fix.

In the coming days and weeks as you are about either to Reply/Forward or even ‘Send’ pause and ask yourself would an alternative be more efficient (eg talking, a discussion group on something like SharePoint, instant message etc)?

Step 2 – Review your action plan and goals

Look back to Day 1 and how much time you were losing. Now re-calibrate using our Cost of Email Misuse Calculator.  Where do you still need to make some changes?

Step 3 – Moving forward

How will you keep your inbox slim and control the email overload in the coming weeks?  Don’t let email rule your day.  Don’t feel you must check your email either first thing in the morning or every five minutes.  Rather try disconnect from time to time. The most productive people are those who prioritise their time and stay focused on the task in hand.

Do you have colleagues who would benefit from managing their email more effectively as you have now done?  Yes, then call  us now to ask about our Brilliant Email Management master classes. Otherwise how about giving them a copy of either ‘Brilliant Email’ or ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’?secretary1Brilliant Email

Celebrate – Dare to share

Share your progress; EmailFacebookTwitter  (using #cleaninbox)  There is a prize (a copy of ‘Brilliant Email‘) for the person who has made the most outstanding progress.  For instance, had five days of empty inboxes, reduced the number of rounds of email ping-pong by improving their email etiquette etc.

For  more resource

Twitter_logo_blueFollow me on Twitter using #cleaninbox.

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Thank you for joining us for this the 10th International Clean Out Your Inbox Week.  Feedback on how we can improve this event for next year is always appreciated.

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10th International Clean Inbox Week – Day 4

Posted Wednesday January 25th, 2017, 10:44 pm by

Day 4 – Brilliant Email Etiquette to Keep the Inbox Clean

I can feel the twinkle of his eyes in his handshake.  Helen Keller

Yesterday was Mental Health day in Canada initiated by Bell LetsTalk.  Email Overload is a major source of stress and contributor to mental health problems.  One of the quickest ways to stop email overload is to reduce the rounds of email ping-pong.  Using brilliant email etiquette to convey the right message, right first time will help. Moreover, you have less than five seconds before the recipient has formed an opinion of you for better or worse.  Poor email etiquette can damage your reputation in a nanosecond.Cleaninbox2

Based on using brilliant email etiquette, here are today’s four steps to reduce even further the level of email overload and hence keep the inbox clean and empty.

Step 1 – Benchmark your email etiquette

Use our special free email Business Etiquette Check List to benchmark your email etiquette.  Where and how can you improve?

Step 2 – Review your inbox for existing chains

Are there any email chains which could have been prevented if you had either communicated more clearly or planned ahead?  What lessons can you learn from these?

Step 3 – Review your email before hitting send

Ask yourself, what image am I conveying of myself? How clear and concise is my email based in the checklist at Step 1. Brilliant Emailsecretary1

Did you include an adequate greeting and closure to entice the recipient to respond properly?  For more tips on how email etiquette can help you achieve an empty inbox and reduce email overload see Brilliant Email chapter 12 and ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox‘ chapter 11.

Step 4 – Help others improve their email etiquette

Be bold. If you receive an email you cannot understand on the first reading, ask the sender what they are trying to say.  Send them a link to our Email Etiquette Checklist.

Dare to share

Share your progress; EmailFacebookTwitter  (using #cleaninbox)  There is a prize for the person who has used email etiquette most effectively (a copy of ‘Brilliant Email‘).

For  more resource

Twitter_logo_blueFollow me on Twitter using #cleaninbox.

Facebook-Buttons-1-10-Join our Facebook page.

PS. Don’t forget to keep cleaning up that folder of old emails which you created on Day 1 (and indeed any other bulging folders).

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Don’t be distracted by every new email

Posted Tuesday January 24th, 2017, 9:39 pm by

Being distracted by each new email as it arrives can be a very expensive drain on your time, well-being and productivity.  In this video we show you how to limit those unnecessary email distractions yet still be aware of emails from important contacts eg clients, the boss etc.

We would love your comments eg what topics to cover, was this one helpful etc.  Click here to add them on YouTube.

And, click here to calculate how much time you are wasting dealing with all the unnecessary emails.

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