No Email, Not Missing It

Posted on by Frank Haywood

Here’s a funny thing.

This week, feeling I’d lost my drive (it happens from time to time) I decided to try a little experiment.  No email.  Okay, not quite no email, I think I checked it Thursday, but even then, not all my email accounts, just a couple.

But I haven’t checked any of my email now for about 48 hours.  The effect on me is I feel more relaxed, and I also feel as if I’ve become more productive and focussed, and I’ve even spent a little more time with the family.

Hmm…

What would happen if I only checked my email once or twice a week?  Say Mondays and Thursdays?  As long as everyone knew that was the only time I’d be checking my email, I guess it wouldn’t be a big deal for people.

Thinking back to about a decade ago, the only way we communicated with other people was either by phone, or by writing to them.  There wasn’t any email (effectively) outside business, and did it matter?

Don’t get me wrong, email is a wonderful thing, but it really does take up far too much of my time that I could be spending on product creation and other “doing” things.

Okay then.

I’m going to try to only check email 3 times a week.  Let’s start with Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and see how that works out.  If I can manage that okay for a couple of weeks, I’ll trim it down to Mondays and Fridays.  If that goes well for another couple of weeks, I’ll only check it out on one of those two remaining days.

On each day I check email, I’m going to allow myself fifteen minutes reading time and sixty minutes reply time.  I’ll use Cool Timer to check my time usage.

I’ll report back as to how I get on and how it affects my internet business (positively or negatively) right here on my blog.

-Frank Haywood


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7 Comments

  1. Jan Evensen says:

    Hi Frank!

    I agree that email can be a “timestealer”, but on the other hand you could miss out on some really time-sensitive communications.

    And with your 15 minutes/1 hour “rule” how can you hope to deal with your mail?

    I’m sure you have a lot of incoming mail in your “in-box” every day, and it can’t ALL be Spam?

    Let us know how you get on with your experiment!

    Cheers,

    Jan

  2. Clive Praed says:

    good luck, Frank,

    I end up spending about 12 hours a day looking at emails.

    I have no idea how many lists I’m signed up to, but I know none of them have ever made me any money. LOL

    I don’t know how to stop “email surfing 12 hours a day and working 4″.

    Could that ne a contributor to my $10 a month in sales for 3 years?????

    Whos knows.

    Sadly, email comes first and everything ellse second.

    Today, as usual, I’ve spent about $60 on stuff I’ll never use and made no sales at all.

    This appears to me the newbie marketers’ lot.

  3. Hi Frank,

    Great concept but I don’t believe it can be done. At least not the time frame you are suggesting.

    You are going to miss out on so much by doing this. Think of all the offers you read each day. Think about what you learn just by reading them.

    It’s not just the communication that comes your way from family, friend, and customers…it’s also all the ezines and notification lists you belong to as well. What about those.

    You are still going to want to filter through all the offers to see what’s happening out there in the marketing world.

    I don’t see how you are going to be able to sift through it all in 15 minutes.

    Personally, I think you are going to need a virtual assistant to help you with your email. That would be a better solution.

    He/She would be responisible for sorting your email, placing them in category folders for your later review, sending you urgent messages that you may miss…etc.

    If you hire a VA, this will truely free your time. You are going to find that if you block your time to manage your emails…you won’t free yourself of any time at all. You will only manage “when” you spend your time on your email.

    You are also going to put stress on yourself when you start to realize that the 15 minute time frame to read and 60 minutes to respond….simply isn’t enough.

    You are going to feel like there is unfinished work to be done. This will eat at you through out the day.

    My advise….Get a VA.

  4. Paul Tuttle says:

    As long as you have a good customer support system I say control your email before it controls you.

    Once a week does seem extreme. Setting a limit is a good idea. I would have to unsubscribe from a lot of lists to do this.

    Frank, if I do this (read email 3 times a week) then will you stop sending out nickel sales, because I would not find out about them until several days later. Actually, if all the marketers would refrain from these “panic” sales we would all be more relaxed! The really good programs are a set price anyway.

  5. Vern Brown says:

    I really like your idea, Frank. IF this works out for you, it ‘might’ work for others, especially ME. Please, keep us informed so we can benefit from your experiment.
    P.S. I agree with Jan, but I feel it will be ‘worth’ it in the long run.

  6. Paul Tuttle says:

    Ever since David Vallieres told email marketers to start mailing more often we have deluged with email every day. I sometimes wish marketers would put out a version of their email that only goes out once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. Other than that the blogs are helpful in keeping email volume down.

  7. Frank Haywood says:

    Jan:

    “Time sensitive”… hmm… oh well it might cost me in products I really want, but I’ll make much more money by being productive. ;-)

    I saw something I really wanted the other day and it was $200, but the problem is, I couldn’t justify to myself that I’d use it immediately even though some of the content is in my plan for this year. I also knew that I’d be tempted to spend some time working with it. I don’t have that time right now, and to get distracted from my goals would cost me much more than the $200 discount.

    So I passed on it knowing I’d have to pay more for it when I was ready to use it. At $400 it’s still a bargain.

    Clive:

    THREE YEARS?!? How long are you planning on being a newbie? You do use the stuff you buy don’t you?

    I only planned to be a newbie (I just really dislike that word) for 3 months. Guess what?

    Jason:

    See above. ;-)

    I’m on a LOT of mailing lists, but they all go to my mailing list email address, so they’re separate from my day to day stuff. I’ve now reached the point where I don’t read the bulk of them, just the odd one or two, such as the one from Martin Avis, and I also enjoy reading Perry Marshall. Sally Neill has a real way with words too.

    I give everybody a chance, and if I just get “sold to” the whole time I stop reading but I rarely unsubscribe. (BTW, if anyone reading this has a mailing list they want me to be on, just let me know.)

    If there’s something I really really need to know, someone tells me!

    Once you strip out all the noise, 15 minutes is plenty of time to skim through my email. I just checked and on this machine I have 29 email accounts set up all using IMAP so they all have their own Inbox, Sent Items etc. There’s only a couple of them that I get email in worth carefully checking, and that only takes a few seconds.

    So because of the way I’ve already organised my email, I sort of have a Virtual VA anyway. ;-)

    Seriously though, a VA is on the horizon. I just have to decide what it is I want them to do and then document it all in video. I know that I can get the equivalent of a graduate educated person from India for about $10-$15 / hour, and I’d probably only initially need someone to do stuff for a couple of hours a day to begin with.

    There are businesses in India that can supply me with someone I need.

    And… I always have unfinished work to do. :-)

    Paul:

    Well my customer support system isn’t brilliant right now, I know that, but I’m working on it.

    You don’t need to unsubscribe from lists, but you do have to decide which ones you’re going to pay attention to.

    Ah yes, nickel sales. If I announced them the week before, that would probably help wouldn’t it?

    I have to admit I’m a little bit disorganised sometimes, and when I have something ready to go at last, I want to get it out there ASAP. A lot of marketers will have a product ready for 3 months and spend that time looking for JV partners, building the buzz etc, before launching it.

    I’ll do that one day.

    For now, I like to do a “mini-launch”. When it’s nearly all ready (99%) and I get the design for the sales page back, I tell people it’s coming almost straight away. (BTW the design for the Nickel Script sales page is beautiful. The guy I use has done an outstanding job IMO.)

    I still have the sales copy to complete, it’s only half done, but I’ll finish that off tonight and everything will be ready to rock. Yes I understand the irony of a nickel sale being that people don’t read the copy, they just buy quickly, but there you go. It will come in handy when I release the Nickel Script at the full price of $27…

    Here’s a fair warning then. I intend to release a product called “Perfect Ebook” next week, and I’ll do it in a nickel sale.

    You read it here first folks.

    Vern:

    We’ve all come to rely far too much on email. While it’s great technology and always will be, I just don’t think we need hang on every email that comes in.

    Be selective is what I’m trying to say. If it means you de-select me, then so be it.

    Paul (again):

    “Your wish is my command”. How about I set up a weekly digest mailing list for this blog? And I promise that most of the time I’ll give at least a weeks warning for any new product releases?

    Then you can elect to be on that instead and still not miss anything vital. Most of the time.

    -Frank

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