DON’T BE A SLAVE TO EMAIL

Did you know that, on average, a person will receive 121 emails during each day?

That’s a fact.

It’s also a fact that, according to research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, the average person will spend 28% of the workday reading and responding to email. Crunch those numbers and what you get is 134 minutes (or 2.23 hours) per day spent emailing. Which equates to about 13 hours a week — or 650 hours a year!

And remember: this is not the amount of time we spend using a computer at work each day. No. It’s just the amount of time we spend on emails.

The cost this has on our emotional well-being is not yet known. We’ll need decades of research to find the long-term, permanent impact of this much emailing. But what’s for certain is there can be interpersonal consequences from hitting send too quickly, from saying the wrong thing, or from including the wrong person. There’s also what may be called the spiritual  consequences of detachment from people as we stare at our screens, oblivious to those around us.

You have to wonder where all this will lead our neurological pathways.

But what is a person to do about the growing percentage of time we spend emailing? Time that could be better spent engaging with staff and colleagues?

Well,  here are a few basic things you can do to keep from “tipping over”:

  1. Always try to schedule in your email time — make it work for your versus you working for it. Keep your email time in the same place each day.
  2. For the first 20 minutes of each day, focus on something other than your screen. Leave your phone and your computer and do as much work with people face-to-face as you can.
  3. Reduce the number of routine sites you check. Facebook is a huge time-waster. Only use it when you’re home.
  4. Speaking of home, don’t carry your phone in your pocket. Shut the ringer off so work emails won’t distract you when you’re home.
  5. Separate your work inbox from your personal inbox. No matter what, resist the temptation to do dual duty.
  6. When possible, delay responding to stressful emails. Be strict with yourself. Try not to respond to any angry or stressful emails for 24 hours. This will save you a lot of grief.

If these tips fail to work, you may want to consider seeing a therapist. This is not suggesting that you some deep or underlying disorder. Far from it! It’s just that some coaching and accountability may help you begin to break the chains that bind you to technology.

 

— Dennis Coates

ARE GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE MORE PRONE TO ANGER THAN THE REST OF US?

What would you say if I told you that good looking people are more prone to anger? Those “beautiful people” who have the total package. The top five percent with gifted looks. Yes, THEM.

Would you believe me?

You should. Because they are, in fact, more prone to get angry than the rest of the population.

According to a study published in the February 2017 edition of Psychology Today, researchers found that “strong men” and “pretty women” became more easily angered than other people. It was also reported that these two groups have the most influence in society. And, get this, throughout the recorded history of evolutionary psychology, these are also the people who can inflict the most harm and withhold benefits by having the most power. When that power is challenged, their anger becomes a tool to prevent them from being exploited.

So what does that mean for those of us in the other 95 percent category? Well, here are a couple things you should know.

First, if you are being threatened by someone’s anger, stop and ask yourself — “Is this person part of that upper five to, say, twenty percent of the strong and pretty population?” If the conclusion you come to is yes (while highly subjective), it may give you some insight into the their anger. They are not getting angry at YOU. They somehow think you are, or could in the future, exploit them. So the anger you see is just a reactive pressure to protect them.

Second, if a “strong” or “beautiful” person is getting angry with you, it may not be you at all. They have simply been blessed with good looks and are acting according to their years of accumulated experience of getting their own way because of their aesthetic appeal. In a situation like this, it’s probably not the best idea to stand up to them and try to teach them a lesson. Why? Because it’s unlikely they’ll understand. How could they? They have held a premium position throughout each decade of their life. A heart to heart isn’t likely to work.

If you ever find yourself being confronted like this and it bothers you, why not have a heart to heart with yourself instead? What is it about the other person’s anger that is so upsetting? Granted, no one like the anger of others, but if you are losing sleep, dreading your relationship, not wanting to go to work, or are being consumed by your own anger at them, it may be time for a check-up. Life is too short.