No email day

What’s the one thing that people always have too much of? Email. There’s been countless software-related attempts to change the way we use email but treating the cause seems to be difficult. We might be able to treat the symptoms of email overload instead: what if we chose to have a “No Email Day”?

How often do you check email?

I check emails constantly throughout the day - sometimes because I’m expecting something important, but often it’s just out of boredom or habbit. It’s pretty inefficient to continuously do this and I’ve toyed with the idea of having set slots in my day for reading and responding to messages instead of doing it little and often.

Getting even more efficient

A step up from having dedicated email time-slots could be to only have certain days of the week where I check email. It sounds great but worryingly, I’m not sure I’d cope!

One argument against this idea is that interesting newsletters and important questions or information don’t hit my inbox on a reliable schedule. This makes me feel the need to check continuously and so I’ve not managed to embrace this idea myself yet. Perhaps the healthy solution would be to try and gradually change this.

Email embargo

The thing that prompted me to write these thoughts down is that the agency I’m currently consulting for is planning a company-wide “no email day” tomorrow. Amusingly, I was made aware of this because someone printed out the announcement email on A3 paper and plastered it across the office.

On the surface, it sounds so simple but if I’ve not managed to implement this as a single individual, what’s the chance of an entire company doing it for a whole day? We’re so ingrained in this form of communication that the idea of an entire 100-person agency abstaining from internal email for the day sounds like a huge ask.

It’ll be really interesting to see how this goes. I’ll try and get some feedback from the guys here as it’s an interesting experiment. Some food for thought, if nothing else.

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