“But all things should be done decently and in order. “ (1 Corinthians 14:40)
Emails are an efficient and useful communication tool and, for most of us, a regular part of our workday. However, according to a recent Canadian study, all of these emails can be “stressing people out and affecting productivity in a negative way.” Researchers from Carleton University report that “people now spend one-third of their time at the office – and half of the time they work at home – reading and answering emails. And 30 percent of that time, the emails are neither urgent nor important. That’s 11.7 hours spent at work and 5.3 hours at home — every week.” https://globalnews.ca/news/3395457/this-is-how-much-time-you-spend-on-work-emails-every-day-according-to-a-canadian-survey/
Some causes of too many emails include:
Dear Heavenly Father, You have given me so many opportunities. However, each opportunity brings choices for me to make. Please give me the wisdom to decide what is important and what is not; what is urgent and what is not; what is getting out of control and what I am managing wisely. Help me to do all things decently and in an orderly way so I am not wasting time and energy on unimportant things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Monday: Consider your email in-box today. Do you feel you are in control of it or is there room for improvement? Do you have too many emails to deal with? Too many emails to track, or search for? If you have answered yes to any of these, then it is time to take action!
Tuesday: Today, consider how often you check your emails. Is your in-box always open? How often do you check it during your day? Write down all the times you are checking your email and add it up at the end of the day to see how often you really checked your email today!
Wednesday: As you reflect back on how often you check your emails during the day, do you think it was efficient? Did it interrupted something more important? Did it disrupt your thought process, or interrupt your day’s priorities? If you answered yes, think about a better time to deal with emails in your daily schedule.
Thursday: Considering the type of profession you are in, what is a realistic expectation of how often you should check your emails? Although we live in a society which may expect instant responses, is it really necessary? Also consider that a response to their email may be to reassure them you have received it and when you will have an answer. You may not need to give them the answer, but rather just let them know you received it and will be responding. You may have something more urgent that you need to work on and/or need time to research or speak to someone about their question. Acknowledging their email and telling them when you will respond is also very professional, promoting respect for your time as you show respect for them in your response.
Friday: You have now determined how often you will check your emails. Commit to starting this next week and analyze how that strategy works. Is it too often or not enough? Does it depend on the day or week? This does not need to be “carved in stone,” but rather, consider the best timing to help you stay focused on your priorities and not be distracted by in-coming emails which are not as important and can be dealt with at a designated time.
Have a great week!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work