WHEN it comes to managing your email and social media messaging, it’s highly likely you have been going about it all wrong.
Australian director of The Potential Project Gillian Coutts has made a living helping to develop customised, organisational effectiveness programs based on mindfulness.
As such, she believes mindfulness is the key in managing emails and social media in a productive manner.
“Across all of the companies I work with, I see people have a common pressure associated with staying across all of their emails and messages,” she told news.com.au
“Regardless of the job, this task generally takes up a significant portion of their time at work, while not always producing the best results.”
To help combat this problem, Ms Coutts has developed a number of tools and techniques to help enhance effectiveness, creativity, communication, teamwork and wellbeing.
ADMIT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
Ms Coutts said it is common knowledge that many people are addicted to checking their email and social media accounts.
“It’s literally the same dependency as other addictions in the sense people get a release of dopamine every time they receive a new notification, which leaves them wanting more,” she said.
“This is why people find themselves hitting refresh on their email and social media every couple of minutes because they want another fix.”
Ms Coutts said this would distract people and cause delay for the task at hand.
“When and alert appears, people should take a second to ensure they are not habitually checking their smartphone or computer,” she said.
“People should consider if now is this right time to check and what they will actually gain from doing so.”
KILL ALL NOTIFICATIONS
We all know the feeling of your phone constantly buzzing from new notifications.
“This is killing their ability to choose. Every second spent glancing at their email or social media is time wasted, which makes it harder to focus on the task at hand,” she said.
“By turning off these interruptions, they can focus on their work and check in their own time.”
SET ASIDE TIME TO CHECK YOUR ACCOUNTS
Ms Coutts said people shouldn’t neglect checking their accounts, it is all about timeliness.
“Workers should get in the habit of focusing on emails and social media during set periods, rather than throughout the entire day,” she said.
However, the mindfulness expert claims there are certain times that are better for batching tasks.
“A number of studies have found people are most productive and creative in the morning, so it seems void using this time to check email and social media,” she said.
“All this is doing is creating mental clutter, so I recommend clients perform another important task before diving into their emails. It’s hard to resist the urge, but it really helps.”
EXPERIMENT AND FIND WHAT WORKS BEST
Ms Coutts has seen many of her clients improve their effectiveness by applying these methods, but she admits everyone is different.
“I think people have different contexts for putting boundaries on checking their emails and social media. It’s a matter of making a change and seeing how it serves you.”