Too Much Emailing, Too Much Texting, Makes you Stupid!
As a Business Coach, I am constantly reading anything and everything that has to do with neuroscience-how the brain works. The more insight, tools, practices, habits that I can share with my clients on how they can change their external results by consciously understanding their internal mechanisms, the happier and more productive they become.
Here is a gem that I came across in the pages of a new book called, “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long” by David Rock. Every mortgage client I’ve ever had has struggled with this one and I’m sure many of you have, too…
The Impact of Doing Too Much
A study done at the University of London found that constant emailing and text-messaging reduces mental capability by an average of ten points on an IQ test.
The author explains that the effects are similar to missing a night’s sleep or around three times more than the effect of smoking cannabis!
The author continues…
Despite the depth of scientific research out there about the problems inherent in partial attention, people continue to stretch themselves to do more at the same time even though the benefits they may be receiving are minimal. Being “always on” seems like a logical solution. Ergo, if you have more emails that can be done in the time at your desk, then do them everywhere.
Here’s the thing that my clients managing teams have found to be true- Being overly responsive to email and text traffic just increases the total number of emails and texts you get! People notice so they send you more issues to respond to.
Get that IQ Back Where it Belongs!
- Set an auto reply message in Outlook every day to indicate the times when you will be returning email and voicemail. Change your voicemail daily, too. This only works if you follow it!
- Use text-messaging as a secondary tool for urgent matters when you can’t reach someone by phone. Only respond to texts that are of an urgent matter.
- Share your Outlook calendar (Read only view) with your team so they can see when you are available and when you are not. This will help you to manage those folks who abuse email.
- Set up rules in Outlook so that emails from friends, family members, email updates that you subscribe to and any non-urgent, but regularly occurring communications, are automatically sent to folders for later review.
- Turn off the option that audibly/visually alerts you when a new email has hit your inbox.
- Respond by calling, rather than emailing. It’s just way too easy for a lot of folks to waste a lot of time via email.
- If you happen to be a Manager, just think about the number of complaint emails you have received from your LOs and or support team vs. the number of complaints you have actually heard face to face or over the phone. Having been in your shoes, I can promise you that if you begin responding to “issue” emails with…
“I sense that you are upset-dismayed-disappointed-anxious (you choose the expression) about ________ (you fill in the blank). Let’s talk. I will be free at 3pm. Please call me at that time so we can discuss this situation.”
…that the number of these types of emails will dramatically decrease and you will find that the real issues will be left on the table, of which most can be quickly and effectively addressed and resolved in a single conversation.
Don’t let your productivity tools make you as dumb as a stoner! For even more brain cell-saving techniques, read 5 Way to Save Time on Email.