Are you like me and wish for one day that there would be no email? Not that I don’t love to communicate but I’d like to get all my current communication under control!
Email is a great technology that was designed to simply our communications. No longer did you have to wait days for a written letter. No longer did you have to wait for the person to be in their office so you could call or stop by…no, email could be sent anytime, any day and people could respond 24/7…. However, it seems that this technology that was to reduce our stress and simplify our lives and taken over for many of us. It now stretches our days by hours at a time, if we allow it.
I must admit I do try to keep caught up and answer emails in a timely manner, however, when you are in meetings several hours a day, the 200-400 emails get pushed to small windows throughout the day or the evening. I realize this isn’t good and have decided, after hearing Marshall speak last week at our Director’s meeting, that I need to continue to work at finding more balance….I will still answer my emails but I’m going to try a new strategy.
As I thought about how to conquer my email, I found myself thinking about all of you. I was worried about being responsive but also I worry about all the hours each of you puts into your email (job in total). I began to think how we could conquer this together, thus my 2019 challenge to you….and it begins December 21, 2018!
so here’s my 2019 challenge each of you to:
1) Don’t answer email over the upcoming holiday break. Focus on you, family and friends. I did this last year and a faculty member actually thanked me for setting an example. When that person didn’t find any emails from me they felt it was okay they didn’t spend their holiday on email. I admit I do delete junk mail some days, but I will not send email from December 24-January 1
2) New, as of last week, I have set an alarm for 10pm Sunday through Thursday evenings as a reminder that I need time away from email and work. I admit I ignored the alarm last night, but it still a good reminder to me that I need to balance work and home life….so in 2019, if you need me after 10pm….call me. You all have my cell in case of emergencies….otherwise know it will be morning before you get a response….same goes for texting after 10pm.
3) Earlier in 2018, I trying to make small changes to achieve a better work-life balance. I realized I needed to make sure I gave my best not only at work but at home as well. One thing I try to do is from Friday evening when I leave the office until Sunday evening I don’t read email. That is time for my family and friends….or even just me. I’m trying to work on some of the things I like to do….cooking, travel, hobbies and just time with family and friends.
4) Finally, remember the value of the spoken word and the value of your time. If you can, reach out to someone with a phone call or Zoom chat. I find that I can save several emails with a quick call with someone.
I hope you will accept my 2019 Email Challenge. May you find better work-life balance. I hope it gives you the power to focus on yourself, your family and friends.
Until next time…