It’s a bit of a surprise for me, but after backing away from email I’ve found that I really don’t need it that much. In fact it looks like email needs me more than I need it.

In case you missed it, I’m doing a bit of an experiment in low-information “diets”, and I thought the first to go would be email. I know I can’t do away with it completely, but I certainly don’t need to check it every day, and definitely not multiple times a day.

I’ve never realised this, but when I send an email, I’m fairly relaxed about when I get an answer to it as long as I get one eventually. Sometimes. Usually.

It seems I’m even more laid back about it than I thought I’d be.

But some (just a few) other people seem to get a little bit irate when they don’t get an answer from me straight away. Most people are fine if I leave it a few days before answering, but I’ve found that some people are a bit uptight about it.

Oh well…

This is I suppose, a good example of the fact that we all live in our own little universes, and all we’re really interested in is ourselves. I’ll qualify that at a later date, but if you want to read more about this concept go get yourself a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends And Influence People” which I’m re-reading at the moment.

(This is turning into a bit of a ramble, but there’s two books that I would say have been important to me and my business. One is mentioned above, and the other is Robert Cialdini’s “Influence”. You should definitely get both of the above, and if you take the information inside them to heart, it will do wonders both for your life and business.

Back to email…)

So if I’m not missing email that much at the moment, I think it’s time for stage 2.

Stage 1 was to only check email 3 times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and only spend 15 minutes reading email, and 60 minutes to reply. I should say that if I need to send an email now, I’ll do that, I won’t wait until one of my “checking” days.

So I’m now at the end of week 2, and also the end of stage 1. So far, so good.

Now it’s time to trim that back to Mondays and Fridays starting this week.  If that works out – and I’m now very confident it will – I’ll just move to email on Mondays only. Which will mean it will be faster to get hold of me either by snail mail or via the support desk.

The result of this move away from email is I feel much more focussed now and I also feel more productive. I’m keeping an eye on it all as I don’t want something else to replace email and fill the time I’ve gained back.

-Frank Haywood