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One of the most common habits for people who work in front of the computer is to do it so with the e-mail client open. That is, Outlook, Airmail, Thunderbird or any other is open while we do other tasks that have nothing to do with the e-mail. However, we maintain the e-mail notifications turned on.
Imagine the following scenario: we’re doing a task related to the review of a text in Microsoft Word and, suddenly, get a pop-up notification in the lower right corner with a recent e-mail about a budget we were expecting. What happens in a very natural way? We look at the pop-up and we leave “focus zone” of what we were initially doing. What happens most of the time? We click the pop-up.
Conclusion? It is already counterproductive to work on a task that requires all of our attention (because it’s a review), and, on top of that, we shift abruptly to a pop-up. But, to make the situation even worse, we open the pop-up and read the e-mail, abandoning what we were producing and losing focus.
Why shouldn’t I put the notifications and the e-mail into questioning? And what if I don’t have the e-mail open while I’m doing other tasks? What will happen?
- And what if I don’t want to answer the e-mails right away? What will happen?
- And what if I don’t visit the e-mail client more than once a day? What will happen?
- And what if I don’t use the e-mail as a collaborative work tool where the task execution is done in e-mails? What will happen?
- And what if I stop replying to e-mails that are not important and are not in my intentions list? What will happen?
- And what if I unsubscribe from all the mailing lists I haven’t opened for more than a month? What will happen?
- And what if I turn off all the notifications on my computer and smartphone? What will happen?
- And what if I constantly keep the inbox of my e-mail with zero e-mails and all the folders organized? What will happen?
I’m not saying with these premises that whoever has customer support as a job should stop using this tool. In this case, it’s necessary to understand how to make the whole work process more agile. One of my suggestions would be to stop using the e-mail client and start using a customer service SaaS (software as a service) tool, for example.
Ponder this. What will happen?