Outside the Inbox

Way back in 2011 I wrote a 9-page manifesto proposing a global ‘No Email Day‘ on 11/11/11 which has since gone on to be an annual event taking place on 12/12/12, 3/3/13, 4/4/14, 5/5/15, 6/6/16 and 7/7/17 with the next one due to take place on 8/8/18.

Although the idea was ridiculed by a few people online who thought I was some kind of tech luddite, hundreds of people from all around the world blogged and Tweeted that it was a great idea for them as they were spending too much time ‘Inside the Inbox’ reading, replying, forwarding, deleting or often simply ignoring their emails – many of which were unnecessary and a complete waste of their time.

Many people’s working lives are now completely dominated by their email Inbox which means they spend most of their time doing the ‘busy work’ and not enough time doing the ‘real’ and ‘important work’.

Although the world has moved on considerably since 2011, the idea of ditching emails completely or at least significantly reducing your reliance on them has grown in popularity with new tech products like Slack being created to provide a more efficient and collaborative way for teams to communicate outside the Inbox.

Social Media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram to some extent, plus video tools like Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom all mean you can now viably run a successful team or business outside the Inbox.

Unfortunately, the business world is still addicted to email because of its’ speed and accuracy in sending messages to the intended target which means that instead of social media tools replacing email, we’ve simply added them on top of email which actually puts more pressure on everyone.

Despite being the founder of the annual global ‘No Email Day’ which hundreds, if not thousands of people have now taken part in over the years, from individuals and micro business owners right up to multinational corporations, I still find myself drowning in emails and struggling to keep on top of my Inbox! This means I’m constantly feeling like I’m letting people down even though I know I’m over-achieving and excelling in helping people and doing great work ‘Outside the Inbox’ and I know many people in my network feel the same.

So, from now on I’m going to make a concerted effort to radically cut down on my emails and encourage people to contact me in other ways. The steps to do this will include:

1. Putting an auto-response / out of office message on my emails telling people I won’t necessarily reply to their emails with a link to this blog explaining why
2. Unsubscribing from many of the email newsletters that don’t give me any value or information I don’t already get elsewhere

If you’re reading this blog & would like to discuss ways we can work together, please call or text me on 07734722716, Tweet or DM me @lordlancaster, Connect and Message me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lordlancaster/, or send me a Skype message at paulwlancaster

Let’s see if this works!

Paul Lancaster
Founder, Plan Digital UK

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