Negosentro.com| 6 Tips On Reducing Email Anxiety In 2021 | 2020 turned out to be the year where remote work became the norm, and not the exception. While that transition came with a handful of positives—like being able to work in your pajamas and only having to commute from your bed to your living room—it also came with a lot of new anxieties. The new work-from-home norm made electronic conversations more critical. Mountains of Slack messages, Zoom Fatigue, and a seemingly endless wave of emails amped up everyone’s anxiety in an already anxiety-inducing year.
Since the divide between work life and home life is essentially nonexistent now, managing your email inbox is more important than ever. As part of personal emails and email automation programs, more than 293 billion emails sent every single day in 2019—that number must have skyrocketed in 2020. Use these six tips to lower your email anxiety and to make your mental health a priority this year.
Unsubscribe From Cluttering Newsletters
Remember that one business you gave your email to several years ago in exchange for a discount? If you keep getting emails from businesses that you never open (but still get notifications about), it’s time to hit that unsubscribe button. Those emails are doing nothing but cluttering up your inbox and taking your attention away from more important things every time they pop up. All it takes is clicking unsubscribe and you’ll stop getting those pesky emails that take up time and space for more important and meaningful things in your life. Save yourself the emotional energy.
Share Your Preferred Email Habits With Coworkers
We’re living in the age of 24/7 availability. Instead of having work stop the moment you leave the office, your coworkers, boss, or clients can still reach you through your phone and email. While that’s great for them, it’s not great for you or your mental and emotional health. This year, set boundaries with everyone by letting them know when you do and don’t want to receive emails. You should also let them know that you won’t be responding to any emails outside of business hours. This can either be done face-to-face (or through a Slack message) or you can set your email preferences to send out an automatic response whenever you receive a message outside of work hours letting them know you’ll respond during work. Most issues can wait a night to be addressed—so feel free to log off for the night and give your mind a much-needed break.
Set Windows Specifically For Email Management
When your attention is split between the project you’re working on and checking your inbox every five minutes when you get notified about a new email, you’re drastically hurting your productivity. Set aside windows of time during your work day specifically for checking and responding to emails and emails only. This could look like an hour at the beginning of the day, and maybe 30 minutes at the end. Whatever time period or length of time you decide to set, doing this will help you turn your full attention during the day to the project you have in front of you.
Turn Off All Email Notifications
Just because a new email hits your inbox doesn’t mean you have to open it ASAP. And the last thing you want to be is that person who can’t hold a conversation without checking their phone. Take control of when you want to see your emails by turning off unnecessary email notifications. Those emails outside of work hours most likely can be handled during the day—and keeping your attention to those in front of you instead of to a screen will help you be present to those who are important in your life. This will train your brain to work when it’s time to work and to relax when it’s time to relax.
Vacation Mode Is Your Friend
You’re going on vacation to get away from work—so why would you still want to get emails on your time off? Get away from the barrage of emails and the ensuing stress by setting up vacation mode in your email preferences. Most email accounts will let you set an automatic response to any email you get explaining you’re out of the office and will respond to the email once you get back. If you have the type of job where you still need to be available in case of emergencies, you could add your emergency contact information like your personal cell phone. But for most situations, asking senders to send all emergency emails to a coworker (with their permission, of course) or your boss can also work. Most likely, the situation can be handled once you get back to the office, and you can spend your vacation stress-free.
Avoid Screens At Night
The light that screens emit can drastically mess up your circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep. Just like you should stop checking your email at night, you should also try to stay away from screens in general as it gets closer to bedtime. Give yourself a cutoff time in the evenings where you put all of your screens away. Most sleep specialists recommend an hour or two before bed to give your brain time to adjust and get in “sleep mode”. Use this time to read a book, stretch, do yoga, or journal instead of mindlessly scrolling through your phone. After a few months of doing this, you’ll be set in your new routine and you’ll see a drastic change in how well you’re sleeping.
Even though emails are a crucial part of working these days, it doesn’t mean they have to take over your life. And even though your work and home life may be in the same location now, you can (and should) still set boundaries between both. These boundaries start with your inbox. Once you have those boundaries set, you’ll start to be more productive while at work, and less anxious at home.