I think a lot of us have a bad relationship with email. Be honest, how many times have you spent all day in email, feeling productive, only to realize later that you haven’t accomplished anything meaningful? I know I have. We compulsively check and manage our email, wasting valuable time on things that don’t matter.
A dysfunctional email culture can strangle productivity, keeping employees scrambling on the inbox hamster wheel. It can also undermine work-life balance, break down effective communication and suck the life out of your company.
Not long ago, multitasking was the superpower everyone clamored for. Employees who could conduct a meeting, finalize a report and give feedback on a proposal—all while managing email—rose to the top of the office food chain.
But it turns out our workplace hero is actually a villain. Multitasking doesn’t increase productivity, after all, research shows. In fact, it leeches your brain power.
Bill Gates once said the first rule of using technology is that when you automate an efficient activity, you magnify its efficiency—and when you automate an inefficient activity, you magnify its inefficiency.
That’s especially true for email. When used efficiently, it’s a powerful productivity tool. When used poorly, it’s a huge drain on your time and mental performance.
Your mind is a powerful tool. It sorts, categorizes and makes sense of the world for you. Yet we’ve all seen what happens when it starts spinning out of control: sleepless nights, trouble focusing, elevated stress.
We all have bad habits that undermine our effectiveness at work, whether it’s procrastination, poor time management or lack of organization. But email is an area where other people’s bad habits can undermine us—and vice versa. « Tweet This