“A mailbox is stress in its uncooked kind! »: how you can regain management? | EUROtoday

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“YouDid you see Jean-Pierre's email about Monday's meeting? » ; “I didn’t have time to respond to your email, I’ll take care of it tomorrow”; “Yes, after all, I’ll ship you all the data by electronic mail. » How many occasions a day does it come up in our workplace conversations? It's most likely higher to not do the mathematics… Essential and omnipresent, electronic mail has invaded the day by day lives of many staff.

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“In around forty years, this task which was at the service of our work has gradually become the essential part of our work,” summarizes Arthur Vinson, co-president of the Observatory of Infobesity and Digital Collaboration (OICN) . This instrument – great as a result of it’s easy and really highly effective – is in the present day the alpha and omega of all our human relations within the firm. In a method, our mailbox has even changed our job description: if you enter an organization, we current your missions to you intimately. But what typically occurs after a month? You end up responding to incoming requests that arrive by electronic mail…”

And this stream – in line with the OICN 2023 benchmark, we obtain on common 144 emails per week – is way from trivial. “A mailbox is stress in its raw form! exclaims Arthur Vinson, who is also co-director of the start-up Mailoop. Many people – especially at very high levels – say that, first thing in the morning, they know that their day is going to be a marathon against their mailbox, and that in the end, they will lose. Being confronted with a given external constraint and having the feeling of not being able to cope with it is the most basic definition of a stressor. »

READ ALSO “The antidote to stress at work is not relaxation, it’s concentration” And the event of telework didn't assist issues. “Exchanges that could take place at the coffee machine or between two meetings are now done by messaging,” factors out Romain Bisseret, coach and speaker, writer of 60 minutes to regain management of your emails (Gereso Editions). What is sophisticated for workers is that their mailbox fills up always, however particularly randomly. They are always on the alert, and this will generate a type of habit. »

This difficulty, which pertains to the standard of life at work, additionally impacts the correct functioning of the corporate, whether or not when it comes to effectivity (managing emails is an more and more time-consuming exercise), but additionally when it comes to transmission of data. data. “The more emails we have, the more quickly we process them,” emphasizes Arthur Vinson. We learn them diagonally, we miss issues, this will result in errors, and even errors. incivility. Enough to generate much more emails behind…”

Faced with this phenomenon, what could be the most effective practices to place in place? Two specialists share their recommendation.

Mute notifications and keep away from responding instantly

To stop digital overwork, begin by avoiding audible or visible alerts indicating the arrival of yet one more electronic mail. “At the beginning of the Internet, notifications were useful because we didn't receive a lot of emails,” smiles Romain Bisseret. Today, they solely serve to destroy focus. »

Hyper-responsiveness shouldn’t be essentially a good suggestion both, as a result of electronic mail shouldn’t be suited to immediacy – that’s not its goal. “We must assume that anything that arrives by email is never urgent, otherwise, we use another means of communication: telephone, instant messaging, etc. », recalls Romain Bisseret. “Responding very quickly generates infobesity,” provides Arthur Vinson. If we react instantly, we danger giving an incomplete response, subsequently resending an electronic mail three minutes later as a result of we forgot an attachment, a clarification, and many others. We additionally usually overlook to place the kinds, which might trigger misinterpretation and infinite discussions… Not to say electronic mail loops the place responses cross one another. »

Ideally, schedule time in the course of the day (and even in the course of the week in case your group permits it) devoted to consulting and processing your emails. “The little tip I could give would be to look at your calendar before checking your emails,” advises Romain Bisseret, who additionally created coaching aimed toward combating psychological workload in enterprise. It's not a lot, however it will possibly change your notion: certainly, e-mail typically entails working for others; By beginning by visualizing your calendar, you’ll focus first by yourself duties. »

READ ALSO Conflicts in enterprise groups: how you can handle and forestall them?

Set up automated filters and sorting

Did you realize that, to save lots of time and effectivity, you’ll be able to configure your digital mailbox by creating folders, classes and even coloration codes? “Messaging rules have existed for 30 years, but very few people use them, notes the co-president of the IOCN. However, you can very easily configure your mailbox (whether Outlook or Gmail) to prioritize and prioritize messages. Because it’s not normal for a newsletter to which you subscribe to generate the same interruption as an email from your big boss…”

“Software has many functions that can help us on a daily basis, you have to take the time to take an interest in them,” provides Romain Bisseret. I noticed a enterprise supervisor who had created a really sensible rule: messages of which he was not the direct recipient have been robotically marked as learn and despatched to a “For information” folder. For her half, an administration assistant had made certain to solely obtain emails from her N + 1 in her primary mailbox. The others arrived in separate folders. »

Adopt new digital habits

You might have gotten into the behavior of utilizing your electronic mail as a “to do list”, in different phrases leaving your emails to be processed seen with the intention to keep in mind to take care of them when the time comes. “I don't think it's a good option, because all these messages are so much mini-pressure: we know that we have something to do that hasn't yet been done,” reacts Romain Bisseret. It is best to learn the e-mail and be aware, individually, the requested motion (name such individual, resume such file, and many others.). This method, you don't should go and reread the e-mail a second time – and this helps to lighten your mailbox. »

Moving in direction of a type of digital “sobriety” may also show helpful. “We measured that on average, for each email sent by an employee, they receive three,” explains Arthur Vinson. So, once we press “send”, we now have to think about that there are three boomerangs that can come again to our head! » To escape the vicious circle, it is usually necessary to ask your self the query of the “right” channel to trade: past three e-mails (one-to-one), it’s higher to select up the telephone, the dialogue can be easier.

Also be as sparing as doable with the recipients copied – in line with the OICN benchmark, the “reply to all” reflex generates 25% of emails. “Most of the time, when I receive a message with people copied, I only respond to the person who asked me the question,” confides Romain Bisseret. I really feel that if others really want to know my reply, they may ask me. In the meantime, I'll spare them the difficulty of studying an electronic mail that doesn't concern them. »

Finally, it may be helpful to query its makes use of to ascertain “another relationship” to your messaging, provides Arthur Vinson. “We all have numerical beliefs, in other words things that we are convinced are normal,” observes the specialist. The most typical is that, to do your job nicely, it’s important to learn and course of all these emails. But it's not written wherever! Realizing that we now have the proper to experiment, to query the established order – doing a type of psychotherapy along with your mailbox, in brief! – that’s an enormous step. »

Initiate collective reflection

Of course, when confronted with an exploding mailbox, everybody can attempt to discover survival methods. But the problem is extra international. “I often draw a parallel with the ecological transition,” says Arthur Vinson. The duty for change can’t be positioned solely on people. We should search for the foundation causes of the prevailing overload and set up good practices on the staff stage, whether or not when it comes to focusing on emails, alternative of channel, disconnection, and many others. Because should you determine, alone in your nook, not to reply to an electronic mail for instance, a colleague will observe up with you, this can create conflicts… The collective means that you can validate and hold commitments. »

Better digital collaboration additionally entails giving this exercise the place it deserves, assures the skilled. “In the workshops that I run, I hear a lot of people say: “I didn't have time to respond to your email, I had work”. However, this job is an integral a part of our work and we should acknowledge an area for it. More usually, I feel the artwork of digital written communication deserves consideration, coaching – and to be regarded with the Aristocracy. »