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6 Reasons Why You Should Disable Your Email Alerts
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6 Reasons Why You Should Disable Your Email Alerts

Richa Jain


Studies suggest that emails actually reduce productivity. An IBM study found that people who organize their email are less productive than those who don't. A McKinsey study reveals that we spend, on an average, 28% of our work week reading and responding to emails. That works out to about 73 days in a year. Cisco took that report (and others like it) seriously. Peter Hughes, Cisco's Director Collaboration, banned his staff from broadcasting emails. Other large organizations are also working towards reducing email communication in their offices. Then what's the reason you're still hanging on to those email alerts?

Here are six reasons why we should disable email alerts:
  1. It's distracting . Having an email alert pop up every 2 minutes is like pricking yourself with a pin every 2 minutes. You get out of whatever you were doing, only to realize that it was useless.

  1. It's an escape - from the more important tasks. When you're really engrossed in something, like the report your life depends on, or chatting with your girlfriend, have you ever noticed the email notification? I guess not. However, you keep looking at the notification sign in your tool bar every 40 seconds - when you don't like what you're doing and would rather be doing something else. Way too often, we use email as a crutch - to avoid the more important tasks.

  1. If you thought sending email responses immediately endears you to your colleagues, think again. It actually makes them think you're "always available" i.e. you don't have any other work and thus start taking you for granted. Just think, does your CEO respond to every email within an hour? No.

  1. It sets a bad precedent. You do it once, you do it twice - and people expect you to do it always. Your boss will always want an immediate turn around, your sub-ordinates will reach out to you for every small decision instead of being independent, and so would your colleagues. Okay, that's a bit extreme, but you've got the message, right. Don't encourage the behaviour that you don't want.

  1. You lose your flow . You know the state of 'flow' that productivity gurus such as Tim Ferris and Leo Babauta talk about? It's the state when productivity is at its peak. Every time that email notification flashes, it drags you away from that state and makes it more difficult to get back. For what? For the flash sale from Snapdeal that will only last the next 4 hours!

  1. It gives you a false sense of importance . The real reason we keep checking, and replying to our emails all the time is that it gives us a false sense of importance. Of being wanted, of connecting with the world. I say false sense, because more than 40% of all emails are useless . Why would anyone really waste time on them?
To sum it all up, I would use a quote by 'anonymous': "There's life after email. And it's much better than the one you have now!"

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