The 3 email solution: If you are serious about your side career
The best way to stay focused on your mission is to eliminate clog points in your day. In our time two of the biggest choke points are email and Internet drift.
Internet drift happens when you drift off your original purpose for diving into the Internet. We call it web surfing.
You may have started out with pure intentions but how quickly we are diverted! By cuties and abominations and anything that will promise a little surge of turbo-charged neurotransmitters.
For that, I’ve got nothing for you. You’ll have to figure out yourself how to stay on task.
(Though I do find that setting up 15-minute, 30-minute and 1-hour focus blocks helps me immeasurably.)
(Plus, it’s fun. Once the timer goes off, you take a short break. Nothing excites the neurotransmitters like pattern interruption.)
For email, here’s what’s been working for me.
The 3 email solution for heightening focus:
1) Work email
This assumes you have a job or business separate from your creative passion. If not, then you may only need a 2 email solution.
Your work email is just that, for your working hours. For your job-related activities.
It is strictly for those people who need to reach you during those hours.
In my case, I own an art gallery. This keeps me plenty occupied during my gallery hours — and the time out of work I allot to answering emails.
To mix this bag up with all sorts of other goodies — as I used to do — would only drive me to overload. Which it often did.
2) Creative/personal mission email
For those of you like me who have creative side missions — that one day may become your primary mission — a second email for that purpose is mandatory.
To honor the importance of that project in your life.
It may feel like a hobby, but if you’re serious about it, then one day you hope — even expect it — to become your primary income source.
Treat it as such. Set up that separate email account. Give it its own space and time, separate from the other aspects of your life.
Gmail is highly effective. For both creatives and entrepreneurs.
Plus there’s a free wonder app you can download called Boomerang that allows you to boomerang an email back to you at some future time to deal with it. Whenever would be better. Tonight. Tomorrow. Next March.
This eliminates in-box clutter like nothing else.
3) Newsletters/Info email
There’s so much that is amazing and exploratory out there! People everywhere off-gassing insights and inspiration. You could be in a perpetual wash of thoughtiness from the coolest people in the world if you desired.
But you have your own significance to attend to. You have relationships and priorities. You actually want to get off your seat to move a little bit here and there.
A separate email account for the rich stream of interestingness will serve you well.
I schedule a little time each day to immerse myself in the genius of others. It lifts you higher. There’s little better for your growth than drafting others who’ve blazed trails you want to trod.
Yet, this only works if relegated to its place in your day.
Just like all the pretty and ugly things the Internet thrusts at us to snag our attention, you could easily become mired in the thoughtiness sphere.
The thought-o-sphere deserves your limited attention. Calving it off to its own inbox will delight and inspire when appropriate.
More importantly it will not disperse your energy the rest of the time.
The multiple email solution
The magic number of email accounts may be greater for you.
You may want an email solely for friends and family too. There may be some other compelling reason to have more. It’s easy with today’s devices to bounce back and forth between accounts.
The important criteria is area of focus. To have an email account for each significant area of focus in your life.
So that when you are dug deep in that area of focus nothing else is pinging away for your attention.
Now go forth and expressify!
For you —
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