Use Out Of Office Messages Even When You’re Not On Holiday

Use Out Of Office Messages Even When You’re Not On Holiday
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Email is something that consistently absorbs a lot of my day. I start everyday checking and responding to email, but as the day progresses, find myself checking my inbox pretty much constantly from my phone and computer.

This week Fast Company made an interesting suggestion on how to combat that problem: Using an out of office message.

One of the best pieces of advice in terms of not getting distracted by email is to only check your email at certain times. When you do that; however, the people sending you the email don’t know that they’ve missed your 1pm email check and that you won’t likely respond until you do that final inbox run-through of the day at 4:30.

Fast Company suggests using an out of office message to let them know.

The idea here is that you set up a message that says something like this:

Thanks for your email. I’m currently heads-down on a major project and will only be reading and responding to emails first thing in the morning and at the end of the workday. Should your email need immediate attention, please contact me via telephone. Otherwise, expect an email response from me at the end of the day or first thing in the morning.

Ideally, you’re only putting up that message for that week you’re working on something big and need to cut down on distractions.

Alternatively, Fast Company suggests putting a note in your email signature that lets people know your typical response time for email, and when you traditionally are in the office.

The idea here with both choices is to set expectations with people who send you email, so you, in turn, don’t feel the need to check it constantly.

Presumably, knowing you don’t check email until the end of the day will prevent someone from following up multiple times in a single day (something that happens often to me) and can potentially make the whole email experience just a little more pleasant for everyone involved.

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