I’ve got mail. Lots of it.

As I write this, I’ve just spent the last hour (10-11pm) writing emails.

Those who know me will have realised that emails take up many hours of my day.  I have 4 accounts in use at the moment, and also alias email addresses for different “hats” within email accounts.  The sole reason I got my first smartphone a few years back was so that I could access emails on the go.

I’ve been given advice on establishing an “email hour” with new and old contacts, and how to get long-term contacts used to the idea that I might not email back for a while.  Yet, I still haven’t managed to bring myself to do any of this.

The thought of being away without access to emails for a week, by choice or not, scares me – purely because I know what’ll be waiting when I reconnect.

What are your strategies for email management?  How long do you spend on yours?  What is your email traffic like? 

In recent months, I have changed my phone syncing preferences so that I only get emails to my phone a handful of times a day.  This has helped, and I rarely reply to emails from my phone anymore, unless it’s really important and I know I won’t be at a computer for the rest of the day.

At the moment I’m torn between whether I should try an email hour a day for all emails, or setting aside a few hours once a week to get through all of my emails for one or two particular hats.  The problem is, I’m not sure there exists a day where I’m consistently in the same place, with the same free hour to do emails – seminars, meetings etc.   I can’t be sure that the WiFi on the train will work for me to use my morning commute, and the train home is usually too busy to get my computer out.  Lunchtime is when I stop looking at the computer for an hour, and I’d rather not deal with emails in the evening when I get home  – I’m not even in my pyjamas yet and it’s nearly midnight!

Having thought about what I can do that works for me short-term without confining myself to a set time for emails, tonight I took a big step… I have officially changed my syncing preferences on MacMail to… MANUAL.  Here’s hoping I remember this decision in the morning, or I might wonder why I haven’t got mail by lunchtime…!

I’m off to send one last email, then I think it’s time for bed.

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