How to keep email from turning toxic

Ever since the Blackberry days where we received the ability to check email 24/7 a lot of us developed an addiction to checking email. While the ability to check email whenever we want has its benefits, it also comes with plenty of expectations, especially when you’re in client service.

Being accessible to clients is important for maintaining strong relationships, but can at times be a distraction. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of having email manage your time and losing control.

Luckily, your relationship with email doesn’t have to be toxic. There are plenty of ways to balance being available with getting the rest of your work done or not letting it pull you away from your non-work life.

Like everything else in life, moderation is key.

In my 12+ years at LRG Marketing, I’ve developed a few strategies to avoid letting email run my life.

Here are some quick tips to striking that perfect balance:

  • When at home set a time to check your phone/laptop. This can alleviate the urge to constantly refresh your Outlook. If you have a schedule it can become more of a part of your day.
  • If you see an email come in that is not urgent and/or requires research and time, don’t answer immediately. Take a moment and assess whether It’s appropriate to answer with half of an answer now or a fully fleshed out answer when its ready, correct and on-point.
  • Turn off the sound notifications! Back in the day, the Blackberry had the red flashing light on the front of the phone alerting you to a new email. My iPhone thankfully does not do this. When I’m on the road and/or awaiting a reply on something urgent, I may turn on the notification sound, but otherwise, you run the risk of becoming a slave to the beep.
  • Make sure your email accounts/clients are all sync’ed up. If you delete it on your desktop Outlook, make sure it deletes on your mobile device, etc. This is key in keeping organized and on top of everything.

Balancing emails alongside everything else is something that everyone works to achieve. While there are different rules and etiquette to how responsive you are with emails, it doesn’t have to rule your life.

What are your tips? Email me at schaput@lrgmarketing.com.

2017-05-02T10:54:01+00:00

About the Author:

Sara is the Vice President of Public Relations at LRG Marketing Communications.