Update on my #5EmailsADay challenge

I know you’ve been wondering how I’m holding up. I’m sure some of you had doubts about the whole project and probably thought that I have long lost the battle and emailing away to my heart’s content.

Hold on there! Have some faith.

Yes, it has not been easy sailing, I admit. This is Day 4 of the challenge. And I haven’t managed to send only 5 emails a day.

Ha! I hear you say.. That just shows it’s not do-able and we should just accept it and keep on emailing.

I have not been sending only 5 emails but the number of emails I sent is between 6-9 a day.

If I hadn’t had a rule of #5EmailsADay, this would have been higher. I know it.

What am I gaining from this exercise?

1. Willpower: I’m testing the limits of my self-control. It’s good for me. I swear.

2. Walking more: I have actually been visiting our admin office more and get answers to my questions more quickly. Of course, it is debatable if our admin assistants wish to see me once or twice a day. But I have decided to invest in a pedometer (please send recommendations!) and see how not sending an email converts into a step count for me. I think there’s a research idea there!

3. I’m checking email less. Not considerably less. I decided to tackle the whole email issue slowly. I’m trying to train myself to the idea that there’s no point in checking emails if you’re not going to respond to them immediately.

4. I set a lot of reminders to the emails so that I know when to respond to them. That took away a lot of anxiety over unfinished business for me.

5. I have actually not checked my emails over the last weekend. A WHOLE WEEKEND. I have turned off the work email function in the tablet and my phone (not the personal email. I have to have something!). I can’t do this every weekend as there will be times I will have to work in the weekends but mum is visiting right now so I have an excuse. On that note, I have also been turning off my work email from my easily reachable devices once I get home. No email. NADA. I still work. I read. But no email and the illusion of getting things done. I do feel I have a bit more energy. Or is that the glow of having had some self-control, finally?

Now, what’s the down side?

1. All those emails I would usually send thanking people for sending me what I needed or congratulating them for whatever they achieved are hard to justify when you have only 5 emails a day to send. I haven’t suddenly become an ungrateful person my friends! So I thank and congratulate you from here!

2. I send a lot of emails to people when I find something that they would be interested in. Stuff like an article that has come out… I have printed out abstracts and leave it under their door. So, I use more paper… That’s not good. Have to think of a better way.

So, overall, I feel good about this exercise. For now I will stick to the 5 emails rule even though it may mean that I send a few more than that. It’s good to have a goal/restriction to try to abide by.

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