I have a love/hate relationship with my inbox. It’s the plague that follows me to bed and it’s ‘the sickness’ that hits my stomach first thing in the morning.
Pros of email
- New connections for new opportunities
- Can hold the solutions to problems you’re having
- A means of being connected to potentially valuable contacts
Cons for email
- ‘Passive aggressive’ replies have never been exercised so freely than when on email
- You can never feel totally switched off from work because you’re always accessible
- Overhanging sense of doom when you get alerts notifying you, you haven’t replied to said person for ‘5 days… 8 days…12 days’…. Fuck.
I run multiple projects, which means having to recognise what and who to prioritise- which can be hard. I can openly say that this is something I am not good at and I am trying to work on it. One particular avenue that I run, often means I am providing a free service for people. I don’t resent doing this, I actually really enjoy it however getting arsey self-righteous emails on Friday night doesn’t fill me with joy- nor does it compel me to want to help.
I started looking into what was turning me off from inbox and I started looking at my work/life balance. The ironic thing is this is a drum I bang on about religeously, but is not one I actually partake in too readily myself. Saying yes to too many things started to reign havoc on my personal life and also on how I felt about my work life. I started falling out of love with things that I previously enjoyed doing. I couldn’t face doing them because in all honesty I was totally burnt out. I became locked in a battle with my mind and my inbox and my reaction was to hide from it completely.
Sadly, like your bank balance on a Sunday morning- the reality of your actions isn’t just going to go away. Your bank balance won’t suddenly have an extra £500 in it come Monday morning and your inbox won’t miraculously be wiped clean either.
What do I suggest
- Do a cull of your inbox and get rid of ‘the rubbish’
- Dedicate a solid morning (or day!) and follow up with everyone!
- Have an instant reply on your emails that indicate you have received the email and that due to a heavy work-load that week you will get back to them in the next week- it takes the pressure off a lot.
No one is perfect and no one knows what someone else’s life looks like based on the last email they sent. We go through dips (and dives) and that’s totally normal. It’s recognising when to take charge of the situation before it totally envelops you.