Earlier we described some of the potential evils associated with email. I read another article since then that said checking emails constantly hurts your IQ more than smoking weed! Here are some tips to help you out with that!
- Get Gmail. Seriously, this might be a little personal, but it’s just sooooo good at nearly everything and has the added advantages of easy integration with everything else Google, like Docs, Groups, Calendar, etc. If you have another existing account, you can forward all those accounts to Gmail and also send ‘from’ those accounts using the Gmail interface. It becomes like a one stop hub and new Lab features are added all the time.
- Schedule specific times throughout the day to check your email all at once. Finish what you need to do and then move on to another task completely. (This eliminates the multi-tasking that has been shown to shave up to 10 points off your IQ)
- If a message will take you less than a few minutes to respond to, do it immediately so it doesn’t sit around in the back of your head during other tasks. (And you won’t forget about it!)
- Keep that inbox on zero! An empty inbox will let you fully focus on more important projects because it won’t be weighing on your mind.
- Delete/archive spam or other pointless mail right away.
- Make an automatic signature. Not only can it be really pretty as well as informative, it saves you the time of typing it for every message and protects you from forgetting to add contact information.
- If you have an email capable phone, turn off the email notifications while you are working on other tasks. A constant chirp reminding you of a filling inbox isn’t going to help your focus.
Email isn’t evil in itself; it’s more about the multi-tasking element that it creates in our day. There are some interesting studies on how bad it can be for you and this is one of the best if you are interested. By starting our day with fragmented mini-tasks like the ones found in email, we destroy our minds ability to focus on a deeper level for more complex tasks.
At Salty Waffle, we love you guys and we want to keep you off drugs. Don’t be an email stoner, it’s just not worth it! Try out some of these tips and please post your own ideas in the comments, there are tons of other ways to make your email life better and we know you have great ideas so share them with us and each other!