NO! … email that is…

I did something radical a few years ago: I stopped using email.

I will start with the end today:

I claimed back on average 5 hours of every day.
My productivity has increased from 42% to 76% (measured using Rescue Time)
I no longer experience overwhelm as I did previously because I deal with one project at a time, every day.
I am experiencing satisfaction in my work like never before.
What am I talking about you might be asking?
I did something radical a few years ago: I stopped using email.

And boy oh boy did it cause a riot. I had such backlash on Facebook and Twitter; and the emails (rather ironically) started pouring in with question after question.

1. How am I supposed to reach you now?
2. Are you mad?
3. This is going to mean a decline in business for you.
4. I hate social media, I don’t want to talk to you there.

… to mention only a few…

This all of course just fueled me further as it was proof that I was onto something. Generally when the norm is shaken, people react. Turns out that IBM’s people are doing the same thing. A few professors in information management are following suit.

Why did I do it?

1. Email was consuming my working day: I was responding to 80 emails on average a day.

2. My inbox had become my to do list.

3. I wasn’t getting the important stuff done.

4. I was feeling overwhelmed.

5. I was cluttering other people’s inboxes up, who in turn were re-filling mine and so the crazy cycle carried on day in and day out.

Do you experience any of the above mentioned craziness? Want to know how to change?

Here is a summary of what I have done:

I notified everyone that I would be moving away from email.
I communicated to clients and co-workers that they could expect a 14-day turnaround on communication via social media platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
I established rules for myself about when and how I would respond to communication.
I spoke to clients who had legitimate reasons for email being critical to their business.
I moved all my clients onto project management tools: teamworkpm, asana, Basecamp and Huddle.
I set an auto-responder on my mail to state that I was no longer on email.
It can be done. I am living proof. Oh and business has never been better by the way…


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