I Check My E-Mail 6,479 Times A Day

I’m on the train into work after five days off. Yeeee-haaaa!

Not….

My work inbox will be full of e mails. Some I will delete without even opening, others after cursory glance. Some will require immediate action, others I can put on the long finger. I may even reply to the occasional one. I will delegate, prioritise, solve problems and make decisions without a second thought. It’s what I do. All while stifling groans, and the occasional moan.

An old boss of mine once told me to only check your e-mail twice a day. Any more, was a waste of time. If something is really, really urgent then you won’t get an e mail about it. You will receive a personal visit, or at the very least a phone call. E-mails eat into your working day, they suck at your attention and distract you from the priority business. It’s a piece of advice which has always resonated with me.

I check my business e-mail twice a day. Or at least that’s the standard I try to maintain. I check my personal e-mail 6,479 times a day. I’m a querying writer. That’s what we do, right? For that next e-mail could be the one from a literary agent making all my dreams come true. Although in all likelihood, it’s a ‘thanks but no thanks’ generic rejection, plunging you into the depths of despair again.

So, I’m a hypocrite but at least I’m consciously hypocritical. I need to let it go a la Frozen. What will be, will be. But then the notification appears on my phone and I’m scurrying to the in-box. Only to sigh in disappointment when it’s Manchester United trying to entice me into buying a season ticket. Which I’ll never afford unless I get a six figure advance. Anyway, back to the day job. Time to tuck ten dreams away for another 8 hours.

40 thoughts on “I Check My E-Mail 6,479 Times A Day

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  1. I remember being part of a test team at work. We agreed to have an works email reading slot between 9am and 10am. After that not allowed to use email. Yes it delayed responding to really urgent stuff but you actually ended up getting more work done. The idea was ditched in the end.

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  2. Since taking up blogging, I’ve signed up to follow many other bloggers and my ‘writer’ email account inbox is full whenever I refresh it. Some seem to blog several times a day – reviews, re-blogs, he weather… and I’ve learned to only open emails that look relevant or interesting. More than anything, I’m learning the value of a good title. Would that I could think up some.

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  3. I have to be in a certain frame of mind in order to deal with emails; the organised, efficient frame of mind. This, not being my natural state, makes for a tricky existence. I love emails from friends and loathe anything that requires delving into any of my files especially the ones entitled tax or bills. The reason? It will inevitably involve telephoning some utterly useless individual without a smidgen of common sense for them to re-issue yet another apparently correct bill which will take up to three months to arrive. Grumpy? Moi? Surely not.

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  4. You gave me a giggle with this one. I couldn’t do what you do. Looking at work emails all day long would completely drain me. I have to say, though, I check my personal emails on the regular, looking for those exciting emails about writing. I do love a clean inbox though.

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  5. I was listening to a CMI podcast from a respected content writer (can’t remember his name though0. One of his “success points” was never check your email first thing in the day. It’s a time and productivity drain. I’m writing this response first thing in the morning after checking my email. Between my forgetfulness and inability to avoid checking my emails I’m probably doomed for the poorhouse…

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  6. Most of my email is just notifications of some kind so I don’t really care about it that much. I only check it sporadically. I always check the notifications I get from my WordPress app, but that’s about it now.

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  7. Oh yes!! Twice a day in this day and time (for work) seems like it is not enough. Well in my last job it was not. I supported writers who were on deadlines. We all worked remotely. Sigh. I miss yet don’t miss those days.

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  8. Our current company culture requires email checking obsessively – it’s almost like a response is expected within a nanosecond of reading. Thus, I check my work email every time I see that little notification window pop up in the bottom right corner. I know it affects my productivity, but company culture demands an immediate response, even if it’s just a, “Noted. I’m working on it.” For my personal email, I check it a few times a day, but I rarely get anything important. Mostly, I delete the newsletters and marketing emails that I signed up for because I’m not buying anything right now. Every so often, I’ll get something worth opening and reading. I really should unsubscribe from those newsletters and marketing emails……..

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  9. I work most oppositely, preferring email to speaking with humans and I obstinately refuse to check my voicemail. Also I like to leave instant messages hanging for a bit, lest the message-sender start having expectations of my attention and therefore his own importance.

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  10. I know that feeling all to well. For 6 months! I would walk around with my email open just waiting for that stomach drop moment when an agent would respond. I hope to get there again soon….No I haven’t started the rewrite yet. ☹️

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  11. That is funny. I am constantly looking at WordPress stats to see if I have new viewers or followers. Since I only started my blog a few weeks ago, I am still excited when I get new and continued traffic to my blog. Good luck with the book.

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