In the past, as a blogger, one of the things I found myself doing more than I needed was checking my email. About a year ago, I made a new friend on Twitter, Jared Goralnick, over at, TechnoTheory.com. Late one night I sent out a few rants on Twitter about how overwhelmed I was with checking email. He politely contacted me and told me that he could help me. As it turned he had published an amazing eBook titled, The Guide to Not Checking Email. The eBook greatly helped me. Immediatley after reading the first paragraph, I felt like this eBook was talking about me. Everything in the book depicted exactly what I was going through.
Before reading the book I read the above outline and thought to myself. “How in the world is this going to happen?” I mean seriously, how is it possible to spend 75% less time checking email? I don’t have enough time as it is to process the incoming mail I already have! So, right there, that was the attention grabber for me. And then it was backed up by telling me that I will learn how to manage large volumes of email without feeling overwhelmed, how to filter and prioritize emails of importance, and how to be accessible for urgent issues. So, I felt motivated to read the book. But, then I realized who I am, and the fact that I can NEVER sit down and read a book. But that part was taken care of too.
The great part about the eBook, is that he closed it out in 26 pages. I like that. I have the same attention span of a dog. I can’t sit down and read something if it takes longer than five minutes. I am simply too impatient. At any rate, in this book I learned the difference between multi-tasking and batching. Jarred explained that multi-tasking basically dilutes your ability to complete all your tasks because of being spread too thin. In other words, multi-tasking causes a great chance of not getting anything done. Which, if you’re as busy as me, that isn’t good. Batching is simply choosing a time of day to process things by their level of importance in a quick and timely manner.
During the first part of the book, Jarred included some statistics that I am sure you’ll fall right into. I know I sure did. And the reality of knowing this was amazing. Instantly, I wanted to change my habits because I could clearly see how making a few adjustments in my typical day to day ways of doing things could greatly improve my level of productivity. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was Jarred’s writing style and entertaining examples he used to deliver his points.
There’s a section where he explains that your email inbox shouldn’t be used as a task list. Ironically, prior to reading his eBook, that was exactly what I was doing with mine. At any rate, he explained his point with this quote: “Do you walk outside, open your physical mailbox, leaf through last year’s mail, find a message to look at, take it out of the envelope, read it, put it back in the envelope, and then return it to the mailbox?” The answer is obvious. No, you don’t. And then he adds, “Then why would you do that with your email inbox?”
All in all, if you’re looking to get control of your email, I strongly recommend reading Jarred’s eBook. I still find it amazing how 26 pages helped me go from pulling my hair out and upsetting all my customers to providing amazing and timely customer service while enjoying all of my day being productive and feeling great about myself. Jarred is a great writer, and has a great way of explaining things to people who are obviously challenged a little bit with being organized. His eBook hit a home run with me, and I am confident that it will do the same for you. If you have had issues in the past with being overwhelmed with incoming email, what are some things that you have done to changes things?