Are You Drowning in Emails? 6 Tips to Get Out From Under

When I was a child, I loved running to the door whenever I heard the mail carrier arrived. I would stand there waiting to grab the envelopes before they were stuffed into the mailbox. I didn’t want to waste a minute.

I couldn’t wait to see if there was anything exciting or unexpected for me. Most days, admittedly, there weren’t. But, occasionally a birthday invitation or a letter from my grandma would surprise me and make my day.

Monday through Saturday, once a day, I delighted in the potential that delivery might bring.

These days, I barely notice when mail gets shoved through my door slot. If it weren’t for my dog’s barking, I wouldn’t even know it had arrived.

That rush and thrill of the unknown are now experienced innumerable times each day. All I have to do is look at my inbox. Whether at my computer, my tablet, or my phone, anywhere, anytime, “You’ve got mail” can light up the pleasure zone in my brain.

However, that trigger leads to an addictive habit-checking email regularly throughout the day. As an entrepreneur, this habit is non-productive, and a stress-inducing pattern that I have had to learn to control.

Indeed, research proves that the pleasure zone in the brain that lights up every time a gambler, alcoholic or shopaholic reaches for their fix is the same one in our brains when we check our emails. And, the more we do so, the more we have to do so, to receive that same pleasurable sensation.

Many business professionals might argue with me when I say constantly checking emails is a problem. They’ll tell me it’s convenient always to have access to emails wherever and whenever you want. And, how great it is to be instantly able to respond to customers, or get caught up on the latest industry news.

I can only tell you what the research is finding, and what I saw happening to me and so many of my clients when email became an addictive habit.

When the first thing we do each day is read our emails, even before getting out of bed, inadvertently, we hand over our day’s agenda. Most emails are requesting something from us: a response to an inquiry, a decision to purchase something, or to read the important news we think is urgent for us to know.

Rather than attending to what is most important to us and our business, we find ourselves going down the rabbit hole; we are responding, reading or looking at info that’s relevant to someone else.

Although surveys and studies indicate the average adult checks their emails approximately 15 times a day, for many, it could be way more. The Relevancy Group is a market research company which measures consumer and executive behaviors. They found 66% of online consumers check their email account multiple times per day, with 13% of online consumers checking their email hourly or more frequently. We are diving into the inbox all day, every day; it’s no wonder we feel like we are drowning in email.

With all these emails staring at us, our brains receive the subtle message that we have so much to do. Others are waiting for a response from us. It’s stressful! And time-consuming!

Respond immediately to email, and you will find you’ve turned your attention away from whatever else you were working on, or intended to work on. Don’t respond, and the pile just gets larger and larger causing us to feel out of control.

Our to-do list gets longer each time we try to attend to those unread emails. Or the ones that have been sitting in our inbox for weeks. FOMO (fear of missing out) increases, so we don’t delete. We tell ourselves we’ll get to that when we have the time.

Sometimes, we check email hoping it will direct us towards what to do with our day, rather than proactively deciding what’s the most important task we should be working on.

Or worse yet, we use email to procrastinate. When there’s something that we don’t want to do, it’s amazing what our brains can come up with to avoid doing what needs to be done. Email is such a great excuse! We tell ourselves, “I’ll just clean up the inbox first, and then get down to work.” Before you know it, hours have gone by, and now the message is, “There’s not enough time today. I’ll handle this tomorrow.”

When reading the same email we’ve looked at several times before, we are procrastinating making a decision. We’re not sure how we want to respond, or if this is necessary info we’ll need in the future, or is this item something we may want to buy. Procrastination adds to our sense of anxiety and stress.

The research shows that the more we give into this addictive email habit, the more our stress levels increase. One study out of the University of British Columbia proved the opposite-less frequent email checks made people much happier throughout the day.

So, if we could break the habit of constantly checking our emails throughout the day, we’d reduce our stress, be more productive, and be happier! To me, it seems well worth it to try and do so.

Instead of responding to emails one by one as they roll in, set aside certain times of the day (perhaps morning, afternoon and night) to tend to messages. Doing so will help you feel more in control of the flow, and you won’t be switching back and forth between different tasks all day.

Are you ready to reduce your dependency on email, lower your stress, stop procrastinating and feel more in control of your life? If so, you need to learn some very specific strategies to deal effectively with this problem.

  1. Decide on an email schedule that makes sense for your business and your lifestyle. Unless you are in customer service or another business in which responding to emails instantly is your job, almost everyone can reduce the frequency of diving into the inbox.
  2. Shut down your email program and all notifications about mail, and only have it open during the allotted times.
  3. Resist opening your email first thing in the morning. Exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, plan out the day ahead, and work on the most important project for that day for at least an hour.
  4. Develop a system to manage emails and keep your inbox relatively free. Train yourself to handle each email only once. Take care of it, delete it, delegate it, or file.
  5. Unsubscribe to all emails that you never get around to reading or you know cause you to waste time. If unsubscribing makes you uncomfortable, remind yourself that you can always resubscribe if you find yourself missing them in the future.
  6. Create a read laterfolder for the newsletters you enjoy and that bring value to your life. Move those emails immediately out of your inbox, and know when you will get to them. Clean that folder out at the end of each week. Take the time to either read or delete those you haven’t gotten to.

It took me awhile to wean myself off of constantly checking my emails and to come up with a system that works for me. Truth be told, sometimes I waiver.

But when I do, I quickly notice I am procrastinating getting important stuff done, and my stress level is increasing along with the number of emails sitting in my inbox. So, I go back to basics and follow my system.

Now, I recognize that asking you only to check your email three or four times a day initially could cause you more stress! But, once you break this addictive habit and experience how much more relaxed and accomplished life feels, you’ll be so glad you did!

How To Successfully Mail A Letter

Mailing a letter does not seem very reasonable in this day and time when there is email, chats, phones and even online support and video calls. But the truth is that there are still very many situations and circumstances when sending a letter is inevitable and actually the most professional way of conveying a given message. Whether you are sending a formal or informal letter, there are things you must remember to ensure that your letter mailing efforts yield good results.

1. Format the letter properly

The format of your letter will always depend on the kind of letter you are sending and to whom you are sending the letter to. For instance, a formal letter may be on a business proposal or response compare to a thank you kind of letter. Ensure you pick up the right format and include all details that need to be included depending on the type of letter it is you are sending. Confirm who you are addressing the letter to and use the right titles and remember to also include your address and name too. If you are not too sure what format is suitable for your letter, you can look up for templates that can make your work quick, easy and on point.

2. Choose the right envelope

When it comes to choosing the envelope to mail the letter in, the type of letter should again guide you. Always choose an envelope that is sturdy enough because the letter might be handled by a number of people before reaching the addressed recipient. Let the weight of the envelope match the weight of the letter paper you have used and any other contents you could be mailing together with the letter. If you chose a heavy cardstock for your letter, then the envelope should be strong enough to accommodate the letter. Still on the envelope, choose a size that matches the size of the letter and how you have decided to fold it; do not choose too large an envelope and neither should you choose one that leaves the letter look squeezed in. The intent of the letter is also a consideration to make when choosing your envelope. Let the envelope remain professional for formal letter, but you can go for decorative and colorful envelopes if you are passing a personal note.

3. Address the envelope appropriately

One of the most common mistakes people make is putting wrong addresses on their letter so they end up not getting delivered as intended. Start by confirming the address of the recipient and then ensure that you properly and clearly place it on the envelope. Include the name of the recipient, house number, street name, city, province and the postal code and use dark ink that is permanent. Make your writings as legible and organized as possible so it is clear enough where the letter is headed. You can also include your return address on the envelope or use a printed return address label so it gets back to you if for any reason it doesn’t find its way to the intended recipient.

Verify Emails Online – 4 Reasons You Should Do It

The internet has changed the way we communicate. Emails have replaced letters as the primary means of communication. Each day, there are thousands of new emails being created. But not all of them are genuine as there are dozen methods to create email addresses. To add a few more may be incorrect and others non-operational.

It becomes the personal responsibility of the sender to verify emails online. The verification procedure involves identifying whether the email address is valid and deliverable. Every single email address is verified. Here are 4 valid reasons for you to do it.

1. Create a list that delivers

Often, companies request website visitors to provide their email addresses as part of the marketing strategy. It might happen that the id provided is incorrect – a typo or an intentional mistake. If you start sending out emails to such inaccurate addresses, you will only have an equal number bouncing back. If the email account is no longer operational, the message does not get delivered; however, you are under the impression that it has been delivered.

It is a sheer waste of time and effort. You will be sending out mails, but none of them will convert. If you choose to verify emails online, you can fill in this glitch.

2. You won’t be blacklisted

Did you know that your online activity is being monitored? Email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail keep track of your mail server reputation. This includes the number of mails reported as spam, the number of bounce back emails and successfully delivered emails. It is as good as saying that you are building your reputation with every email sent.

If you have negative reputation, there are chances you could get blacklisted.

3. Business image and performance

Business-wise emails are used for a lot of important communication. This includes information about new orders, order confirmations, order tracking etc. If you have the wrong email address, this data does not reach your customers in a timely manner.

4. Peace of mind

As a business owner targeting potential customers, you can be assured that there is an actual person behind the email address, and not some idiot trying to play the fool with you. It is commonly noticed that people who wouldn’t like to receive promotional emails are the ones who provide email addresses with a missing or additional character; very few are a typing error.

This way you can filter high quality contacts from the low quality ones. You know which customers that are genuinely interested receiving notifications and those not interested. You can prevent yourself from becoming a spammer. You can also keep your list up-to-date.

For all the reasons above, it is necessary for you to verify emails online. A good online email verification service can help identify and remove invalid email addresses and can make your email campaigns successful. There are several free hosted software programs that allow such verification. Choosing the right one can make your work easy. At the end of it, you will have a clean list that you can leverage for marketing and promotional purposes.