How to Reclaim Time From Your Email Inbox (and restore email sanity)…

“Arggghhhh too many emails…” I know how you feel… Fortunately with the help of Kate Gerry email sanity has resumed, well more or less – I am human after all.

Kate really is the best person I know to get your In Box sorted out in fact she’s an absolute ninja when it comes to banishing email overwhelm!

So I asked Kate if she could share something very practical with us about how to reclaim time from our email inboxes. It maybe a little radical but I think you’ll love what she’s got to share …

Over to you, Kate…

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I was reading a magazine this week, and came across an article about the challenges we face, living in a world that runs 24/7…Things calling for our attention at all times of day and night. Work/life boundaries blurred until they are almost unrecognisable. Evenings spent glued to a screen – or spent sitting on the sofa ‘checking’ emails/Facebook/Ebay on mobile devices… (I am sure you know what I mean!)

The article I was reading quoted the 17th century physicist, writer and philosopher Blaise Pascal, who believed that all of man’s problems came down to not being able to sit alone in a room. The inability to be on our own – still, silent.

Pascal was writing in the mid 1600s… I wonder what he would think if he were to look around at today’s world – the constant pulls to our attention, the sheer number of distractions we have created to stop us ‘being alone’?

There is so much information available to us now – so many things around us, demanding us to be ‘switched on’ at all times of day and night.

It is a question I hear all the time, from the business owners I coach: “How on earth do I switch off?”

Stressed out

(You might even have asked that exact same thing yourself…)

And it is something I hear many times, whenever I am asked to speak about how to overcome email overwhelm.

It seems that our inbox is in control of us – rather than us being in control of it.

You know the feeling – once you’re in, it’s almost impossible to ‘just’ check emails! There are so many different things pulling your attention, so many demands clamouring for your time. You wholeheartedly mean to spend ‘just 5 minutes’ – and somehow an hour later you are still there, wading through an unending pile of emails… your attention being pulled every which way! Quite honestly, email can be one of the biggest time-sucks for business owners that I know of! So I want to share something with you today that’s just a little bit radical and that can quite honestly revolutionise your days, evenings and weekends.

(And I’m going to say it quietly because it’s not quite the ‘done thing’ in this 24/7 ‘switched on’ world!  I almost feel I have to say this one in a whisper… so come closer and I’ll say it quietly…. shhh…)

Ok, here goes…

Turn your business email off your phone.

Did you catch that? I’ll say it again…

Turn your business email off your phone. .

Honestly. Try it and see…

(I shared this tip recently at an event I was speaking at, and one lady right at the back of the room literally shouted out ‘No!’ … it sounded that shocking to her! Then a couple of hours later, she gave it a go… and by the end of the event she came up to me beaming, and told me how much less distracting her phone was now she couldn’t see all the ‘unread’ messages she had waiting for her. Yay!)

You see, having your business emails on your phone makes it very, very challenging to ‘switch off’ completely on a break, or in your downtime. (Or when you are sitting on the sofa in the evening, watching tv or relaxing with those you love!)

Just that ‘ping’ letting you know a new message has arrived already starts to take up brain-space.

(And yes, I know – you can switch off that ‘ping’… but that lovely little email folder on your phone still lets you know how many messages you have waiting for you… which means your brain is already thinking about what might be there waiting for you – which means you are now officially ‘thinking’ about work… in your downtime to ‘recharge’ and relax!)

Simply KNOWING your business email is on your phone, means the temptation ‘just to check’ is there.

(Try turning it off and you’ll see what I mean… watch how many times your hand reaches out for your phone to automatically ‘check’!)

Most smart phones allow you to choose easily which emails accounts to have linked to your phone.

Here’s how to switch your email off (super-easily!) on an iPhone (this will take you less than a minute to action – go grab your phone and give it a go!):

  • Go to ‘settings’
  • Then ‘mail, contacts, calendars’
  • Then choose your email account
  • Switch the ‘Mail’ to ‘OFF’.

That’s it! Super fast and easy… and instantly giving you more space in your day – yay 🙂 And if you absolutely can’t do without your email on your phone, just reverse the process to switch back on 😉

working with smartphone

I often get asked if I mean we should have our email switched off ALL the time… and I know for many of us as business owners, this may not always be practical (for example if you are travelling to meet clients, or to speak).

If you are using your phone as a ‘mobile office’, you can always try what my accountant does (I introduced this tip to her last year!):

At 5pm on a Friday, she switches her business email on her phone off, and leaves it switched off, right through til 9am Monday morning, when she switches it back on. It has truly revolutionised her weekends (and her 13 year old daughter thinks so too!)

Whichever way you choose it – I cannot recommend highly enough giving this tip a go.

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If you’d like more email tips to help banish email overwhelm and gain MUCH more focus in your inbox, I’d love to meet you on the fabulous free training Yvette and I will be holding on 23rd June – yay!

“Conquer the Chaos of Your Inbox – and Banish Email Overwhelm Forever!”

More details to follow soon –  I can’t wait to see you there…

… and if you just can’t wait until the 23rd June, to restore email sanity and reduce that overwhelm then click here to grab a copy of my “#1 Tip for Reducing Email Overwhelm Instantly!” I’d love to hear how you get on using it!

Here’s to you finding stillness and silence – without email pings on your phone!



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