E-mail is the single largest interruption in modern life.
In a digital world, creating time hinges on minimizing it.
The first step towards controlling the e-mail impulse is setting up an autoresponse, which indicates you will be checking e-mail twice per day or less. This is an example of “batching” tasks, or performing like tasks at set times, between which you let them accumulate.
In this post, I will share two of my own tried-and-true e-mail autoresponses, one short and one long.
Your success with batching — whether laundry, phone calls, or e-mail — will depend on two factors: your ability to train others to respect these intervals, and, much more difficult, your ability to discipline yourself to follow your own rules.
So what works?
Before my current examples, let’s look at a basic template from The 4-Hour Workweek. Readers have tested this one in 30+ languages:
Greetings, Friends [or Esteemed Colleagues],
Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12: 00 P.M. ET [or your time zone] and 4: 00 P.M. ET.
If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12: 00 P.M. or 4: 00 P.M., please contact me via phone at 555-555-5555.
Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.
The above is simple but works. Furthermore, bosses respond better than you’d think. Here’s a real-world example.
Now, on to my current faves…
The short one assumes that anyone without contact info can wait. The longer one provides links so that I can ignore hundreds of email entirely.
Of course, adapt for your own situation and preferences.
#1 – Short and Sweet
[VARIANT ONE – WITH ASSISTANT]
SUBJECT LINE: IMPORTANT — Please Email [Assistant’s Name] if Urgent
Due to other commitments, I’m checking email no more than once a week, often less. If it’s truly urgent (cannot wait a week), please call or email my assistant. If you don’t have her info, thank you for waiting until we get back to the inbox.
All the best to you and yours,
Invest in tech companies that I back (Past: Uber, Twitter, etc.)
Q: Why is this email five sentences or less?
[VARIANT TWO – WITHOUT ASSISTANT]
Due to other commitments, I’m checking email no more than once a week, often less. If it’s truly urgent (cannot wait a week), please call my cell. If you don’t have it, thank you for waiting until I can get back to the inbox.
All the best to you and yours,
#2 – Longer and More Comprehensive
SUBJECT LINE: IMPORTANT — Please Email [Assistant’s Name] if Urgent
Sadly, due to deadlines, I am unable to read or respond to most email. Please don’t be offended, as this is true even for close friends.
If you genuinely need to reach me urgently (if it can wait a week, it’s not urgent) —
– If you have my cell phone, try and call or text me.
– Otherwise, please email [assistant’s email address].
For other contacts besides [assistant], please go here:
[insert “Contact” page URL from website]
Thanks very much for understanding!
All the best to you and yours,
P.S. If you are emailing about publishing or book marketing advice, here are the resources I’ll point you to:
BOOK MARKETING ADVICE
1) For a popular recap of my launch for The 4-Hour Body, which hit #1 New York Times, here is 12 Lessons Learned While Marketing “The 4-Hour Body.”
2) I also found Rick Frishman and Robyn Spizman’s book on book publicity helpful for my first launch.
3) All of the other advice I might give, probably more in many cases (as I can use
links) can be found here:
Hope that all helps!
Tim Ferriss bio: https://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/about/
Invest in tech companies that I back (Past: Uber, Twitter, etc.)
What About Yours?
Autoresponders are both an art (due to wordsmithing) and an evolving science, as complaint rates, percentage decreases in inbound email, etc. can all be tested.
PLEASE share your own findings and autoresponses in the comments below! Non-English autoresponses are also welcome. What has worked for you and what hasn’t?
However, thank you for NOT spamming the comments with a bunch of your website links, unless relevant, as is sometimes the case with FAQs, etc. Spam will be deleted.
For more examples — both good and terrible — see below.
Not-To-Do Lists, Drugs, and Other Productivity Tricks
The Best (and Worst?) Autoresponders of 2007
How to Check E-mail Twice a Day… And Have Your Boss Accept It
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
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75 Replies to “Two E-Mail Autoresponses That Work”
I’m actually going to try these for a month and see how many of my clients ring the crap out of my cell phone! 🙂
I was JUST talking last night with my mastermind on how i needed to review the “email batching” technique in the 4HWW. Some times when you need something it just happens to appear. Thanks Tim.
I’ve tried this with my boss. Sadly it didn’t go well. I’m mostly responding to internal requests, so, in my case it’s probably better to be strict with myself and batch and reply at certain a times of the day etc.
It looks like you’re taking the suggested technique and changing it to suit your own position. That’s what it’s all about. Kudos!
If your responding to email twice daily (or even just once per day) there is no need for an auto response, that just clogs up peoples inboxes. If its something very urgent they would not be emailing you anyway.
If your checking email once per week or less, then an auto response makes sense
Agreed. I use a rule that replies to messages marked High Priority with an email that reads a lot like TIm’s auto-response. Normal/Low priority emails get answered during my two batch times.
How were you able to set up an auto response for just emails marked High Priority? Do you use Outlook?
Please get this straight: you’re. Not your.
I have only been checking my mail twice a day for the last week and it’s already proving to keep me focused on finishing items on the to do list. I think with out knowing I used to look through my emails to find something to help me procrastinate. I heard you mention this on your podcast an have adopted it. I don’t have the volume yet for implementing an auto responder (about 50 a day) I know some would be jealous of that ! Keep up the good work Tim an a few more podcasts with just your thoughts would be good although I’m loving all of them !
I think sending out auto response is not a good idea. but the idea of checking your email less frequent on per day basis is good, may be once in the morning and once in the afternoon ,
I really like this one:
“You have successfully reached me. I am, however, terrible at responding to emails. Rest assured, I have read your message, and you may or may not receive a response from me in the next day to decade. I realize that this could result in a missed opportunity for me. If you think this is too important for me to pass up, please email my wife, and if she finds the message important, she will not sleep with me until I respond to you.”
This was life changing for me when I implemented it years ago. My only complaint was technology itself. Ћ email server my company uses forced me to auto respond to every incoming email or none at all. Some permit respond every “X” days or so.
Thanks for Ћ great info!
For my side project Web site, I’ve focused more on “semi-automatic” responses, using text expander tools and–surprisingly useful–the “canned response” capability of Gmail (which I find handier to use than using signatures in Outlook).
For the day job, the one upside of my daughter being in the hospital for the next several days (she’ll be fine) is that it gives me an unimpeachable reason to use the twice-a-day email autoresponder. Assuming all goes well, I’ll announce that it has really boosted my productivity, I’m sticking with it, and people will presumably not freak out because they’ll have seen already that the sky doesn’t fall if I check email twice a day.
[Moderator: Email removed]
Great to see how you do this. I’ve recently added a line to all of my email signatures that says I only check email twice a day and to please call if it really is urgent. It’s really helped to get off the email drip. For those of us not quite as rad as Tim (yet), and that don’t get the same volume of email, this could be a good alternative.
These may seem like great ideas, but I think they send the wrong message. “You are not important”, or “thanks for your email, but I’m not going to respond” is just a very impersonal, bordering-on-rude way to respond to people who may be writing personal emails that deserve a response. There has to be a better way to weed out the “junk” and find the “gems”. I disagree with this approach, wholeheartedly. Try imagining yourself on the receiving end of one of these email responses, how would you react?
If it was an emergency, I would call or use the method they provide.
If it wasn’t an emergency, I would wait.
I find the more urgent someone us about ringing my bell, usually, the less value they will bring, also the more they will continue to suck black hole style. Easy going people who take this I the way it is intended, and the way it says it is intended, they are going to be mutually beneficial healthy boundarie-d colleagues or even friends. You don’t expect the owner of the company to take your call, there is a sliding scale. See Merlin Mann on time and attention, or zero inbox, “that little ding that your computer makes… How many people should be allowed to interrupt you? … Like, maybe your dad…”
Hi Tim – Interesting that you use the five.sentence.es snippet at the bottom. I recently “stole” that from someone else I saw using it and love it. I’ve gotten a few comments on it. And most importantly, it has liberated me – I feel more OK sending very short emails, so I’m spending less time in my inbox.
Here is my out of office reply and it works WONDERFULLY:
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I’m sorry if I don’t get back to you.
I’m now getting emails at a level that I can’t respond to everyone. This is an automatic response to an email you sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will make a best attempt to get back to you, especially if you are sharing world-changing technology or if you are building contextual software or services, since I wrote a book with Shel Israel on that trend. Our book, “Age of Context,” has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext
I also am looking for best-of-breed tools to help people build companies on top of cloud infrastructure, due to my role at Rackspace.
I do read every email, but I only can reply to about 5%, sorry.
Unfortunately if I don’t answer you within two or three days, it’s the same as hearing “no.”
To PR people, if you want me to cover your product you’ve got to give me more than one day warning. I don’t do press-release rewrites like other tech bloggers. It’s best to get in touch with me at LEAST A MONTH before you launch.
If you are looking for more about where I’m publishing, or just want to have an informal chat, visit https://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble which has links to all of my blogs, and social media accounts.
Another way to get through is to talk with my producer, Rocky Barbanica. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Thanks and sorry if I don’t get back to you.
I have read your book 4hww and was wondering how you would handle all those canned response stuff and autoreply etc. from microsoft outlook. A lot of people need outlook for work (corp. exchange servers etc.) So do you have any suggestions about handling mail from outlook (2013)? [Moderator: Link removed]
same by the way for email signatures. I cannot configure a different one for internal email as for outbound mail.
I’ve tried to do it since I’ve read 4HWW.
Unfortunately my boss didn’t fancy it too much.
So, what I did when I was traveling was something like this (customer didn’t know that I was traveling):
Please know that I’m experiencing issues with my email, so, perhaps it’ll lake me a while to respond (I will do it TODAY, nonetheless).
If you need urgent answer please cal me at my mobile.
Thank you in advance,
It worked perfectly! I was s whole week visiting Paris, and worked jut in the early hours of the day and at night….
My choice for life regularly takes me out of country from where my actual business resides. A short auto-response (and often the opening line to the e-reply) seems to allow my clients to understand that, I’m there for them, simply not in the same part of the world at the moment!
Thank you for your email. I am in another time zone at the moment, so please excuse delays with any emails or phone calls between us. I will reply as soon as the sun rises!
This allows for email batching (on my time), avoids repeat emails from clients (because they know I will respond) and gives a client just enough of a glimpse into my life to make me (and my business) intriguing.
The autoresponder might be a good idea if you get a lot of unsolicited emails from strangers. If you do not, this is a great way to piss off your friends, family and coworkers who email you often.
Batching email responses is a great way to handle that kind of work. Not everybody needs to know you’re doing it, though. Maybe a notice on your contact page is a less spammy way to let people know not to expect a response immediately.
Hi Tim, I just read martynalexandro comment below and I think that there are a few people in business who use the ‘I am experiencing email problems’ to delay responding to messages.
Seems like for some that could be a secret solution when company structure prevents you for using an autoresponder to control the flow of email.
Thank you Tim for all the guidance.
If I were a customer or a potential customer, I would not like being handled in this way.
Great advice, though I’m wondering – why wouldn’t you leave contact for your assistant in the first example? At least jut an email. Or have you tried that and it backfired?
Checking mail twice a day in fact a good idea. Configure your mail client like that. But: Do not set up an autoresponder! Consider all your friends who already set up those responders. don’t you think getting these headless mails everytime you leave a message is annoying?
a feature inside our mail clients would be great that sends those respondermails only once to each sender. maybe it’s already possible… I don’t know.
I am not computer savvy, and would like to know how to accomplish this!!!
If you’re interested, here’s the one I have been using. It’s been very effective so far:
Thank you for you email, but please know that I will do my absolute best not to read it. I am trying to avoid email at all cost. Hopefully for the remainder of my life, but certainly for the next several months.
To that, this email account is only being monitored only sporadically.
If you need to get in touch with me:
1) Text me. If you don’t have my number, it’s because we’re probably not friends IRL. No worries, try this:
2) Forward your message to my personal email. If you don’t have it, it’s because we’re not tight. Sorry. You can always:
3) Let your email sit in the inbox here, where it will eventually be read by Jeff, who will get back to you.
If you absolutely need an *immediate* response, please contact my Director of Operations at [[redacted]]
For those interested in why I’m avoiding email, please consider this: in the fullness of time, I hope to accomplish many things. While I trust the span of my life to be long, it is undoubtedly finite.
In the end, I would much rather have it said of me, “he wrote a lot of great things” rather “he responded promptly to emails.”
With all respect, I hope you understand that I am removing my time and attention from the latter of those two things to focus on the former.
My main inspiration for not checking email is Neil Gaiman, who said in his commencement speech at the University of the Arts, “There was a day when I looked up and realized that I had become someone who professionally replied to email, and who wrote as a hobby. I started answering fewer emails, and was relieved to find I was writing much more.”
And, also, my friend Tim, who is near as big an inspiration to me as Neil.
Is unsweet coconut milk ok on slow carb diet?
Hi Tim, i have just put a note and a link to this article in the Luxury real estate network on LinkedIn. I am curious to see if there is a response. Continued Success to you, David
I wanted to send you a big thank you on behalf of my wife and three (3) boys from Tampa, Florida. Your book and blog “Four Hour Work Week” played a tremendous role in my family taking a 18 month leave of absence from the company and life in the USA to live in Northern Spain without a car, phone or watch.
I read your book the summer of 2008 and later that same year my wife (she is also still my girlfriend) set a goal to move to Spain with our 3 young boys to learn the language, culture and to remove our American glasses. We just returned to the US and the experience was life changing for all 5 of us.
Now, I have returned to my company and have even bigger personal and business goals and dreams.
Keep up the great work.
I’ve tried it but I realized that autoresponders are not for everyone. Tim Ferris is a public person, so he gets many requests. But I don’t.
Also, people HATE autoresponders. I can’t believe that some of you use a full page reply!! No one wants to waste their time!!
I prefer to set up rules to receive the most important emails and move the other ones in a folder and clean up once a week.
“Thank you for your e-mail.
I do not like checking my e-mail. So I stopped doing it.
If this is for business, contact me at my business e-mail address.
If you know me personally, you can find me on Facebook, text me, etc. You know what to do.
Otherwise, if it is truly important, I’m sure you can find another way to contact me.
(This is an automatic reply. If you send me multiple messages you won’t get this every time. But I still won’t see your messages.)”
I set it up mostly because I was sick of wasting time on e-mail and trying to find the right way to say “no, I ignored that 5 page article you sent me, because I don’t actually give a shit” to friends and family on the phone.
After I set this up I’ve checked the e-mail only when I really need to get something. I haven’t had any big problems from ignoring it. Maybe some late fees, missed invites to bullshit, etc. Whatever, big deal. Not wasting hours on e-mail is worth the small cost of these minor mishaps.
Hey Tim and team!
Firstly, appreciate your time. Thank you.
Quick enquiry: I’m a filmmaker writing a feature film. It’s based loosely on a journey I made in 2009, walking from Sydney to Brisbane (Australia) with my two closest mates. I’m using the emotional journey we went through but expanding on the location for a more dynamic landscape.
Would you be able to recommend any cross-country journeys, that may appeal to film? Potentially including dynamic landscapes such as; coastline, sand dunes, rivers/lakes, mountains/ranges, iconic locations etc.
Happy to include you in the credits 😀 xo
Here is mine:
I know… Boooo!!!! Auto responders are no fun!
I am sorry to be sending you this as an auto-response. It’s really impersonal, but I want you to know a few things.
1) I really appreciate your email. Thanks for sending it.
2) Because of my client and travel schedule I don’t always respond right away. I try to craft out time twice a day just to give to my e-mail, but this doesn’t always happen.
3) I will write you back as soon as I can. If this is REAL SUPER AMAZING IMPORTANT and I don’t get back to you right away please feel free to e-mail me again to remind me.
It is not that I don’t care, but I might read your email between clients, not have time in the moment to write you back, and then miss it in my inbox later. Nothing personal, I just sometimes get distracted by shiny objects.
The way I deal with emails is to avoid entering into ping pong. If I receive an email that I think needs a reply I write the reply there and then but set it to be sent just before 6pm. That way the person gets a timely response but I do not have to attend to their reply till the next day at the earliest. Also they know I will not see it till the next day so they may think a little more about their reply rather than just fire something back immediately.
It is also about managing people’s expectations.
I’m going to try this! See how many calls I will get. Great post!
My favourite is to avoid the massive buildup of emails that occur when you are away, from my old boss:
Your email has been deleted.
If it is important, you can re-send it when I return to the office on [DATE]
This is just great. I really love the whole Elimination part of the book “The 4-hour work week”.
I will never forget “Interrupt the interruptions”. I will try to apply it, which is not that easy 😉
I’ve been working on an auto responder for work through my Apple Mail software. Unfortunately, it seems that there is no way to prevent an endless circle of emails if I receive something from someone who has an out of office or someone who has a similar auto responder. After doing some searching it seems that the only fix is upgrading to Outlook. Has anyone else had any experience with this?
If anyone is doubting whether or not this worked, I am COO of a $40m per annum freight management company and have been using the following for almost a year:
“Hi esteemed colleagues, clients, suppliers and other business contacts,
Due to a high workload I am currently checking and responding to email twice daily at 12 noon and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
If your email cannot wait until either 12 noon or 4pm please call me on XXXX. If I cannot answer the phone please leave a message and I will call you back.
Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and better effectiveness. It helps me to accomplish more to serve you better.
Thanks and regards,
I ran with it for a few months on internal email, and then applied it to all.
In the whole time I have been applying this, there has only been one incident where a customer emailed something at 8am and then his boss called me at 11am and asked me why I had not acted upon the email. I asked him whether he had seen my auto-responder and his reply was “Yes, you’re right. He should have called”.
There have been no other issues.
The biggest effect for me is that I don’t feel a need to check email constantly, and even if I do (because someone calls and says “check your email”) I feel no real urgency in replying.
Key to this is to make sure I respond to voice mail messages.
Thank you for your email!
Due to my current workload, I am only checking email at 11am and 4pm. If you need anything immediately, please call me on my cell so that I can address this important matter with you.
My cell number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Have a great day,
Best way to handle incoming email is to reduce incoming email:
Please take note – this step is not recommended for people outside of your organisation, and you should also be aware of your position in the organisation.
I DID NOT send this email to my Board of Directors.
You’ve been warned!
Many emails don’t require any action from you. You probably don’t even need to know they exist.
Let your co-workers know that if the email they send you does not call for a specific action, then you will not undertake any action.
This is the email I used:
I receive somewhere around 75 emails a day. This isn’t that many, except some emails may require me to make phone calls, set up meetings, run reports or actually do some work.
Also remember that work emails can come to me from anyone in the business about anything. From Adelaide to Zimbabwe, from Anthony to Wilberforce.
I work for you guys. I’ll do whatever you need me to do to help you do your job better, look after customers, negotiate with carriers or manage stuff.
There are 4 main sorts of emails I receive from people I work with:
1) Calls to action – “Marshall, I need you to do something about this”.
2) External escalation – “Marshall, I’m putting you on this email so hopefully the external party I have sent this to realises it’s important”.
3) FYI – “Marshall, you don’t have to do anything, but I want you to know that this is going on”.
4) Backside covering – “look, I did my job properly”.
This is what I need you to do for me:
1) Calls to action – “Marshall – this is what I need you to do” be really clear. I’ll either do it myself, get someone else to do it, or tell you why it won’t be done – make sure I’m in the top line.
2) External escalation – Nothing – make sure I’m in the top line.
3) FYI – Nothing – make sure I’m in the top line.
4) Backside covering – Nothing – cc me.
If I read an email and it doesn’t clearly ask me to do something, I’m unlikely to do anything. I’ll work better for you guys if I’m clear on what you want and need.
I’m not very good at guessing.
Sounds good in theory but could backfire. If someone was offering a genuine opportunity and was met with a response “. If it’s truly urgent (cannot wait a week), please call or email my assistant. If you don’t have her info, thank you for waiting until we get back to the inbox.” they may find that off-putting and retract their offer. For someone with Tim’s profile I think it would be effective but for others it might not be so effective. I definitely wouldn’t be using for personal emails used for friends and family – can you imagine Grandma getting an email like that!
You clearly do not work in advertising
I love those replies, I miss the fax days, and perhaps even more the days when most business were done by letter. There was of course the telex and telegram, but those were expensive alternatives for truly urgent matters.
If it was life or death matter you could make a 10 minute long distance call for about the same cost of what you now pay for one month of all telecommunications services.
I still remember one really unusual month when my long distance bill was $5000 (yes, five thousand)
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This is helpful. Someone I interact with often has a long, publicity-focused auto-response which is very off-putting. I like the short versions and have been using a similar format when necessary. Thanks for posting.
Thank you for your email. Your message is important to (Us/Me) and (I/We) will respond as soon as possible.
Inbox Pause has made this even easier. It allows me to go into my email to reference something without being distracted by incoming mail since all the new mail is being funneled into a different folder while the inbox is paused. Great tool and highly recommend it.
Curious– what happens when 2 people who have set up auto response collide?! 🙂 Does my auto response go back to your inbox, which dutifuly auto responds to me, eliciting another auto response from me to you, and does this then continue indefinitely??!! I am tempted to test this with my work and personal email to see, but am afraid they will go into a robotic death spiral and instantly fill both inboxes to capacity and continue filling faster than I can delete them haha! Surely it doesn’t work that way…
No, the auto-responder just sends its response once to a reply. So maybe at best 2 emails from auto-responders.
I am currently unable to respond to email at the moment. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911. For all other matters you can reach me on cell or my assistant at X”
I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from your wonderful podcast, 4-Hour Work Week book, and Facebook postings. Thank you.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from your wonderful podcast, 4-Hour Work Week book, and Facebook postings. Thank you.
I referenced Steven Kotler and Flow in my most successful auto-responder to date and it went like this:
Subj-Line: I am out of the office for the next 84 or so meals and will have limited availability to respond to email.
I count meals, not days, on vacation because when I’m on vacation I believe that you should make every meal count. It doesn’t need to be a fancy restaurant (although it could), but rather a great experience as a result of the food, the people, the place, or preferably some combination. If you can string together 3 good meal experiences daily with your family on vacation, I think you’re time together will be a memorable success. If you had to measure only one thing on vacation, for me, quality meal experiences would be the KPI.
Our minds look for and thrive on novelty and that’s what vacation is all about, isn’t it? You go on vacation to seek novelty or in some cases to even add complexity (foreign languages, unknown cultures, etc). Steven Kotler, author of The Rise Of Superman – Decoding the Science Of Ultimate Human Performance, told me a few Thursdays back “increase the novelty, unpredictability and complexity in your environment and as a result flow, innovation, and creativity will go up as well”. Sounds like vacation to me.
You could theorize that vacations have even evolved to include novelty and complexity for the reason that we are attracted to the neurochemical cocktail it produces. I hope you use some summer vacation to increase the amount of novelty and complexity around you.
I’m not sure if this is a short essay on vacation metrics and flow or just a really long ooo message. I’ll be trying to keep some balls rolling during this period, but be prepared for longer than average email response times.
As a growth consultant, email was (and still can be) the BANE of my existence. I received 250 emails/day so I used a fun tool called rescue time and it told me I was spending 6-8 hours of active time per week in Gmail. That was much too much time spent on email and not enough getting critical tasks done. Luckily for me, Ferriss also faced this “challenge”.
Fast forward a few months. I’ve implemented one of the above templates and now receive a quarter of the emails I used to, spend 75% less time on email (between 1-2 hours/week), and have become significantly more effective with my clients.
[Moderator: link removed]
Thanks for the templates– love The Four Hour Work Week.
Thank you for your email. I have limited access to email at the moment. If you need a response before ___ please call me at 555 555 5555.
I may or may not include the last sentence and may or may not give contact info of an assistant, depending
Some people hate getting these. I get that – often they are compulsives who are addicted to responding to every email in real time. So I add;
I use this auto responder to let you know my current availability. Some people don’t like that. If you don’t want an auto responder use my other email : clark@anotheremail
No. SOCIAL MEDIA is the biggest interruption.
Social media is a distraction. Email/phone calls/people turning up at your desk is an interruption. Interruptions come from people, distractions come from yourself….
Due to the nature of my business (IT products and solutions), I would say this could work for internal emails. As for external emails from clients, I personally pride myself with being very fast to respond to any request they may have, either via email, text or phone. [Moderator: Email address removed]
Thanks for summing this up again. Really helpful. I’ll test it immediately.
I implemented a polite version based on above without asking for permission to do so for one day. I got two compliments from people that it was excellent and awesome for coworkers and management. My manager subsequently wrote me a four paragraph email telling me why he was concerned about it, that it might offend leaders in the company and degrade my efforts and hard work ans asking me very politely to turn it off. The manager also set up a 1 hour long meeting to discuss it and my workload the following week. The manager sits two feet away from me and did not say a word in person to me about it. Luckily I am on a good plan to escape this very soon.
So I’m new to this and taking it one (very small) step at a time. I can set my mail client to check mail as far apart as every hour. Not good enough. I can set it to manual, but not all servers respect that… hopefully my work server does and I can then set a reminder to myself to check manually, but that’s a bit of a pain too. In the end I decided I would leave the client (on desktop and phone) set to check mail at the default interval, something like every five minutes, but to do no *notifications*. No banners, no message on the lock screen, no cool sound. Nothing. Both my Desktop and phone will show a message count on the icon, so that will be the only notification, if I happen to be looking. From there it’s about discipline on clicking that icon during downtime or on a schedule. The downside is, there are required “instant messaging” apps that are just as bad and just as disruptive. But hey it’s about taking action and making some headway. I can eventually whittle interruptions down.
Sometimes an automated message or auto response becomes a positive experience in and of itself.
I think using an autoresponse is not gonna work for me but I like the idea of checking email twice a day as it helps me to keep calm and give me time to work on important projects.
This is a great idea. I am in Property Management and contine to tell tenants to call in an emergency. Additionally they will start to understand that I am not in front of the computer 24/7. An auto response may help solidify this. Thanks for the examples.
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