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How Important is Email?

How Important is Email?


    How much time do you spend being consumed by your email? Do you feel like you’re constantly being pulled away from other, important tasks because you can never keep your inbox satisfied?

    If the answer is yes, here’s the question you need to ask yourself: Have you ever stopped to think about just how important your emails are?

    Since the humble email arrived it has managed to supersede most things in our lives! As soon as an email arrives in our inbox, we feel a compelling urge to reply immediately.

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    But it doesn’t have to be that way.

    New research has shown that only 1 in 3 emails are actually essential for work and require an action.

    Chief scientist, Nathaniel Borenstein from Mimecast, (who conducted the research) said:

    “What is clear is that the average employee faces a significant challenge in simply processing the information that comes into their inbox and identifying which messages are genuinely business critical.”

    I’m sure you yourself have experienced this. On average I receive over 100 emails every day. How many of these are really important? Probably less than 10. (Most of them are more of a distraction than of any use.)

    So why not take this new research as a sign to do some spring cleaning? It’s time to create some space in your inbox so you can really focus on the tasks that make a difference to your business or work.

    3 Steps to Spring Clean Your Inbox

    1. Unsubscribe. Be ruthless and unsubscribe from any email newsletter that has not been read over the past 2 weeks. If you’ve not read it, then really how likely are you to in the future? Be realistic and remove those unnecessary subscriptions.

    2. Deal with ‘subscription fear of missing out’. Remember that by unsubscribing you are not missing out. You can always visit the website or blog at your own leisure and access the information. It’s not a final goodbye!

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    3. Set up ‘email rules’. You can set up ‘rules’ so that certain types of emails are immediately placed into an email folder of your choice. This means you keep your inbox clear from emails that are not important. I use this tool to move any ‘newsletter’ emails, as I find these can easily consumer 30 – 40% of my inbox. (Note: I’m a Mac girl so I only know how to do this on a Mac.)

    Here’s the process using Entourage:

    Create a new folder first…

    1. Create a new email folder by going to ‘File’ drop down menu.
    2. Select ‘New’ and then ‘Folder’.
    3. Make sure you give your folder a relevant title such as ‘newsletters’ or ‘personal friends’ (depending on your subject).

    Then, set up some rules…

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    Email Rules
      1. Go to ‘Tools’ drop-down menu.
      2. Select ‘Rules’ and then ‘New’.
      3. Give your rule a title.
      4. Select ‘Add Criterion’ – this should see a box underneath appear that says ‘from’ (if it doesn’t say ‘from’ then select ‘from’ in the drop down menu).
      5. Ensure the box next to ‘from’ says ‘contains’ and then in the box next to this add in the email address that you are creating the rule for.
      6. Underneath you will see a section that says ‘Then’ ‘Add Action’ ‘Remove Action’, here you should see two more boxes alongside each other.
      7. Make sure the first box says ‘move to’ (you may need to select this from the drop down).
      8. In the box next to this you need to select the name of th folder you created in step 1.
      9. Hit ‘OK’ and your rule has been set up! Entourage will now move any emails form the address you inputted into your selected folder!
      10. Go through and create rules for all emails that you think are ‘not urgent’.

      That’s it. Enjoy your new clean and clear inbox!

      (Photo credit: Mail Icon on Screen via Shutterstock)

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      Zoe B

      A strategist, coach and blogger who shows people how to stop what isn't working for them in life and to start to plan the life they really want.

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      Last Updated on July 3, 2020

      30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

      30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

      In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

      1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

      Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

      2. Focus on your breath

      Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

      3. Get organized and purge old items

      A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

      4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

      Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

      5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

      Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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      6. Smile more

      Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

      7. Don’t worry about the future

      As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

      8. Eat real food

      The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

      9. Choose being happy over being right

      Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

      10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

      Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

      11. Make use of filtering features on social media

      You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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      12. Get comfortable with silence

      When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

      13. Listen to understand, not to respond

      So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

      14. Put your troubles in a bubble

      Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

      15. Speak more slowly

      Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

      16. Don’t procrastinate

      Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

      17. Buy a coloring book

      Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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      18. Prioritize yourself

      You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

      19. Forgive others

      Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

      20. Check your expectations

      Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

      21. Engage in active play

      Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

      22. Stop criticizing yourself

      The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

      23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

      Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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      24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

      Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

      25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

      Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

      26. Manage your money

      Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

      27. Stop trying to control everything

      Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

      28. Practice affirmations

      Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

      29. Get up before sunrise

      Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

      30. Be yourself

      Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

      Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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