Are you master of your agenda?
While it seems to be fashionable for Silicon valley startups to try to “replace email” or at least state “email is broken” in the first three sentences of their site, we have to admit it: we love email. Yes, it’s old, yes, it might be not as slick as the latest messenger app for your phone, yes, you have to choose a subject line each time you start a conversation… but none of those are deal breakers.
Email is decentralized, intimate and widely adopted. That’s why email plays a huge part in our, and probably also in your business. And it totally replaces regular (snail) mail for a lot of things.
But there are things that we can learn from snail mail.
How often do you check your letter box?
That’s how you should treat your email inbox!
Yes, I’m serious: You should check your emails maximum once or twice per day. If you’re not working in customer service, there’s a good chance that will more than suffice.
We’ve been doing this more consciously for a few weeks now, and the change it has made is tremendous.
Once you deliberately set aside a time for checking your emails (and not make it the first thing you do in the morning!), one crucial aspect changes:
You become the creator of your agenda.
Not the people emailing you.
You are able to work out your priorities before anyone else chimes in and tells you what other things you should do. Don’t start your day with reacting but with acting.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for reacting as well, and our business wouldn’t work at all if we ignored emails. We never ignore emails. We just don’t let them take over our day.
I highly encourage you to give it a shot. It’ll be harder than you imagine. But at the same time it’ll be more striking than you imagine. Recap:
- Don’t make checking your email the first thing you do on your computer.
- Schedule time for checking your emails (1-2 times per day).
- Instead: create your own agenda with your priorities for the day. Take care of those first before you let others dictate your day.
Let me know how it goes.