Need More Time? Turn Off Email

Email has been around as a communication tool for a long time. It’s intention was to help us work better together and make our lives easier. For many people, that’s just not the case.

But I don’t think it’s the tool that’s the problem. It’s the people.

We have become so conditioned to react to every little beep and notification from our productivity tools, that it’s driving us crazy. I consistently hear the same mantra from leaders.

It’s email that really eats away at my day. If I didn’t have to constantly respond to email, I would have more time to lead my team. It seems like I am responding to email morning, noon and night.

I have a question for you. Were you hired to answer email or to lead a team?

I think we both know the answer to that one. But I’d be willing to bet that answering email takes away a good bit of your time you should be spending leading and managing your team so they can grow and prosper in your organization.

And you have permission to change that right now.

Starting today, begin training everyone who sends you email that you have boundaries. Set a boundary that you will check email at certain times of the day — and no more than that. Make sure you communicate to your team, your boss and other important team partners.

Yes, it can be done. Start now. Within a few weeks, you’ll be surprised at how much better you can focus on leading your team to success without sacrificing your life to email in the process.

So tell me I’m wrong. Share why this approach won’t work for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Denise O'Berry

Denise O’Berry — aka the Team Doc — has been working with teams and team leadership in the public, non profit and private sectors for over twenty years. Follow her @askteamdoc.

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  • Drie

    Great post Denise, I would say that I strongly agree on you. No matter what are the distractions that comes along your way you should stay focus and responsible on your work priorities. It happened that I work often in front of the computer and can you imagine how vulnerable I am to distractions and at first I’m having hard time to focus on work. I also try different strategies and procedure on how I can eliminate distractions but nothing works for me. Then I realize that it is just a matter of self discipline and with a bit of help of the right tools I totally eliminate distractions and keep myself focus on work. Now, I would say that I am more focus on work at the same time it improves my productivity.

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