Death by Emails is a Motivation Killer
In my last video, I explained how we can keep our motivation up, by paying close attention to our daily progress, to kick-start habit formation and build consistency.
Nevertheless, there are many ways to destroy motivation. In the workplace, many events or behaviors can lead to degrading our energy level and willingness to engage in activities.
One of the worst things, in our modern times, is called “death by emails”. This happens when you feel submerged by e-mails, constantly writing or answering them, and left with little to no time to perform your real tasks and work.
This feeling of powerlessness can be pretty daunting, especially if it repeats daily. Imagine, just as the day starts, you turn on your mobile phone or computer, refreshing your empty email inbox, and suddenly, you see more than a hundred new messages appearing.
The feeling can be strongly overwhelming.
You can feel numb, depleted before you even had a chance to start some proper work and get progress in your work and goals.
So, how to overcome this?
I suggest two things. Firstly, if you are the sender: think twice before pressing the “send” button (and even before writing the mail). Wouldn’t it be more efficient to simply call the person? Maybe, you could even discuss several topics at once and avoid several lengthy chains of emails?
Better, as a manager or a mindful colleague, you could check up on the well-being of your interlocutor. Especially in these difficult times, with remote work, where everyone must adapt to new ways of working and new constraints, calling is definitely a plus.
Secondly, if you are the recipient – and you are in CC, you could ask the sender if this is really important that you are informed of the content of this mail. If so, they should put you as a primary recipient (or even call you as we detailed above).
If they are hesitant, emphasize the fact that you trust them to make the right choice. As a manager, you must empower your team and demonstrate that you trust them to sort out their issue. Thus you don’t need to micro-manage them, be informed of their every move and you will not have to face another “death by emails” day.
If they make a mistake (which will happen), trust that they will do their best endeavor to fix things and that ultimately, you will both harvest the benefit of a “lesson learned”.
Trust enables growth. Growth leads to success.
To Learn More About “Time Management”
If you want to learn more about how to build-up motivation and ensure your remain focus on your tasks, to achieve more with less, I do recommend to read the book from Nir Eyal: “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life“
Concise and sharp, Nir explains how we got distracted, which is a stepping stone to learn how to become “Indistractable”. He then covers not only distractions in the workplace (including the notion of death by emails) but in our personal life too.
One of his simple yet efficient concepts is to use a Red Notice, near your office desk, or on your computer to tell others that you are currently focusing on one task and that you wish not to be interrupted. This is particularly important as scientific studies show that once we lose our focus, we need on average 25 minutes to return to our original task after an interruption.
More about this concept in my video: Be Indistractable and Improve Your Well-Being
Another interesting notion he is developing is to leverage our loss aversion bias to force ourselves to do the things we committed to do. For instance, he pinned a hundred dollar banknote on his calendar and he agrees with himself that he has to burn it if he doesn’t practice sport daily. Seeing the note on the calendar, every day, is an effective reminder that he will “lose” money if he doesn’t fulfill his commitment.
To ensure the pressure is maximum to push you, you can ask your life partner or roommate to burn to the bill if they don’t see you complete the task as planned.
If you want to know more about this book: “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life”, use this link: https://amzn.to/311GXg7