Showing items tagged with "Out of Office" - 2 found.

Email addiction is bad for your well-being

Posted Tuesday May 20th, 2014, 9:43 pm by

Are you addicted to email which is leading to poor sleep and the ability to concentrate?  Probably according to recent research from the Sleep Council and others.

Whilst Sheryl Sandberg in ‘Lean In’ urges us to work full on, others such as Arianna Huffington have recognised the effect lack of sleep can have on ones well being, creativity and overall productivity –  see ‘Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life’.  If billionaire’s with all the support they need are struggling what hope is there for us mere mortals?  France and Germany  are attempting to address the situation by passing a law prohibiting managers sending employers work emails after 6.00 pm.

Reduce your email addiction

Yet in the 24x7x365 many feel they must remain connected at all times, a fact highlighted at several recent Smart Email Management workshops we have run over the last few weeks.  Many feel that their clients expect them to be available and respond to emails no matter what time of day.  But do they?  Is this more about either a perception that they are the only ones who can deal with the situation whatever that might be or a chronic case of email addiction.

My personal opinion is that it is  a combination of both which is damaging to ones work performance and personal life and not least your sex life.   We all need a certain amount of privacy and down time.  Here are my five top tips to improve the quality of both ones sleep and hence performance (at work and home) by switching off from email.

  1. Check your level of email addiction
  2. Discuss with your manager ways to take a break – for example delegate access to others and especially if you are in front line operations.
  3. Set a boundary after which time you no longer read emails eg after 9.30 pm.  (VW recently stopped pushing emails from managers to employees mailboxes.)  If you use your phone to pick up work emails – there will be a switch to stop having them pushed at you.  Find it.
  4. Leave all your mobile devices outside the bedroom door (from ipad to iphone).
  5. Use your Out of Office message (auto reply) to manage senders expectations.

It’s interesting that research we conducted revealed that it is generally internal senders who expect the quickest reply.  It is probably these internal senders who also are driving up the 24x7x365 culture and not the clients themselves.

What is your opinion?  Do you ever disconnect from email for more than three hours?  If so, what is the impact on you and your business?

If either you or your colleagues need help with email addiction please call us to help how we have helped others reduce their email addiction and improve their performance and work-life balance.

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Stay focused to stay productive : don’t be driven by email

Posted Tuesday March 18th, 2014, 2:19 pm by

Do you need to see each and every new email as it arrives?  Do all emails carry the same value and importance for you and how you perform your job?  No.  That is judging by the responses from over 200 delegates on various workshops Mesmo Consultancy has run over the past few weeks. Less than 3% of participants confessed that there really would be a problem if they did not see an email within twenty minutes of its arrival in their inbox.

Bearing in mind your inbox is a picture of you and the role you perform, there are obviously some of you who areEmail button black more at the sharp end than others.  However, interestingly when pressed about who are these impatient and badly behaved senders, all bar one or two delegates confessed that it was an internal senior manager and not a customer/client who had such short email response time frames.

It would seem that by and large customers/clients actually do have a slightly longer fuse than we anticipate.  They expect to wait an hour or two for a reply.  They acknowledge that if it’s urgent a phone call might be better and that you as the recipient might not be at your inbox the minute they send their email.

So why do so many people let their days and life be dominated by the arrival of a new email – in some cases dropping an urgent task in favour of a new email?  Some possible explanations are:

  • Instant gratification – dealing with emails is quicker and easier than writing a report etc.
  • Email addiction – we need our fix little and very often.
  • Poor time management skills – it’s hard to plan the day and stick to the plan.
  • Strategic thinking is hard for many – it’s easier to think and behave tactically.
  • The perception that people expect an instant reply – your behaviour influences other people’s behaviour.  If you always reply instantly, you create an image that you will always do so.

For those concerned that email addiction might be the cause, you can check yourself out using Mesmo Consultancy’s free email addiction benchmarking tool – click here to start.

For others here are our tip five tips to help you focus and stop being driven by email.

  1. Switch off all those new email alerts (on all devices) and stay focused on the task in-hand for 20 to 30 minutes.  Then stop and take fives minutes out to check and deal with your email.
  2. If the task in hand is very demanding and very important – disconnect completely.  Either use the Out-Of-Office message to manage expectations or delegate access to your inbox to someone else.
  3. Tell those you work with that you have changed your email behavior and that if it’s urgent they should call you. Otherwise you will respond during the course of the day.
  4. If you really must see certain emails immediately they arrive, use the rules function to alert you to these ones only.
  5. Focusing can be hard – develop your skills to stay in the present and focused though techniques such as Mindfulness.

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