Does your email stress you out? Do you find your blood pressure rising every time your email pings when you get another message?
According to Forbes, the average executive can receive up to 30,000 emails a year. If you find yourself in a similar position then it’s no surprise you will occasionally find yourself feeling overwhelmed.
Email-related anxiety is more common than we like to admit. It’s not just caused by receiving emails at work, either; emails roll in even as we sleep. A lot of us have our phone next to our bed as an alarm. We don’t realise how much the notifications that come up during the night, wake us out of our sleep.
Angela Lockwood is an occupational therapist and the author of Switch off: How to Find Calm in a Noisy World. She chatted with Katrina on Hope Mornings on four tips to help us reduce the stress of email anxiety.
Angela says “Just because people want to sell you things, doesn’t mean you let them in your life.” Unsubscribing, deleting and clearing out your trash is one great way to stay in control of the amount of emails you allow in your life.
2. Turn off Notifications
Notifications from emails, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can all intrude into every aspect of our life and bring rise to anxiety. Keep only the notifications that are important to you. For example, if you are running a business, you’ll need notifications to remind you of your to-do list actions.
Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by
3. Don’t Overuse The Red Flags
Be careful of overusing the red flag option on emails, which is used to remind you to go back to that email at a later time. The problem here can be that sometimes every email becomes an important one.
“If we red flag everything as important then nothing is important”, Angela said.
She suggests a helpful way of thinking about using the red flag is, “Important is important; other things can wait, and everything else can be deleted.”
4. Print Long-Winded Emails
A lot of people write like they talk and it can lead to long emails. Print these emails, then sit down and highlight the points to take action on. It might not be environmentally friendly, but it will reduce your time on the computer screen. When you are constantly on the computer, you are reminded of the feeling of being overwhelmed. Reading a printed version of your email will take you away from that feeling.
It’s easy to allow emails to take control of our life. Take back your life—minimise your email distractions, and you’ll minimise your anxiety.