Checking your email constantly is exactly the same as hanging a sign around your neck stating “Please, everyone in the world, tell me what to do”.
This step is harder and if you’ve been in business for more than a couple of weeks then you know the feeling of having to check your email. We think that there might be something urgent such as our most important client wanting to place an extraordinary order or our boss desperately needing us to recheck the Penske figures.
But let’s face it. These sort of critically urgent hyper-important emails are rare. You might get one in your career, maybe even one a year.
But not at 10pm on a Saturday night. Not while you’re waiting for your kung-pao chicken in the food court on a Monday afternoon. Not while you’re in a meeting with your most important client or with your boss.
Constantly, compulsively checking email isn’t just a psychiatric disorder, it’s something many of us suffer from when in the presence of co-workers, friends and family on a daily basis. It’s not good for anyone. It’s rude and it is not necessary.
It is not necessary to check your email constantly. Email is not oxygen and you can live without reading it for a period of time. You know this is true because you’ve been on an aeroplane, in a movie theatre or at a wedding or a funeral. You didn’t check your email during those times and you are still alive and capable of reading it later..
When you send an email, stop waiting for a response. You don’t know if the intended recipient has his email handy. You don’t know if he or she is in the air, in a wedding or surfing 500 metres off shore. By the same token, the person who just sent you the email doesn’t know what you’re doing either.
Send the email and move on to something else.