LIFESTYLE

#NoEmailDay: How To Cut Down On Your Emails And Unplug

04/04/2014 10:02 BST | Updated 04/04/2014 14:59 BST

Today is #NoEmailDay, an annual event urging people to switch off their email for 24 hours and "be more productive with their time".

While logging out for an entire day may not be feasible for most of us - ironically, we found out about the event via email *chortles* - it does throw up some interesting ideas about email etiquette.

How many times have you found yourself checking emails on your iPhone while at home, in bed or at a social event? Exactly.

We spoke to the #NoEmailDay's founder, Paul Lancaster, to get his top tips on how to cut down on our email obsession.

black woman phone

Tips for better email management

Turn off the new email notification popup that appears at the bottom of the screen

This is an unnecessary distraction that will just lead you to lose your train of thought or stop what you’re doing and start something else.

Try and limit how often you check your emails

If possible restrict this to certain times of the day. Although hard, by spending the first hour of each day reading and responding to your emails and then closing your email down completely, you can get on with all your other work without having any distractions. You can then go back to your emails just before lunchtime and again later in the day. You will be surprised how much more you can get done.

Think much more carefully about how many emails you send

Instead of sending lots of emails to the same person (or team) in one day, if possible save them all up and combine into one. Some top managers and CEOs only send one email per week and so really make it count.

Think much more carefully about whom the recipients are

When sending emails consider who really needs to be copied in. Remember, you’re giving them more work to do just by reading it.

Make sure the purpose of your emails are clear

It is important your colleagues understand what is required and whether they need to do anything in response. If they don’t need to do anything at all, question whether they really need to be included in the email or if you’re just covering your back.

Consider picking up the phone or walking over to the person you need to speak to instead of sending an email

You will get a faster response and the break from your desk will probably do you good, not to mention help build up rapport and improve interpersonal relationships within the team or organisation.

Unsubscribe from newsletters and e-bulletins that you never have time to read

Have a good read through the last one you received to see if there’s genuinely anything of interest or if there could be in the future. If not, unsubscribe.

Turn off all social media notifications

If you do not need to know every time something happens on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social channels then turn the notification emails off. All they do is clog up your inbox.

Make sure any Google Alert notifications are daily or weekly - Changing the frequency from ‘As It Happens’ to ‘Daily’ or ‘Once A Week’ will provide you with all the information you need in a more condensed form and will ensure you don’t miss anything.

Never give out your email address or publish it online - It’s always worth thinking about whether you want people to send you an email, if you can cope with the amount coming in, or if you would prefer them to call the office.

See Also:

How To Switch Off From Technology (And How It Will Benefit Your Wellbeing)

How Often Do You Check Your Phone Before Bed? (Be Honest)

The day, which was created 3 years ago, is growing in popularity and now has the support of many big companies such as free conference call provider Powwownow, this year's partner, who believe more traditional methods of communication allow more to get done.