This month I made a radical lifestyle and business decision-I gave up email. Completely.
I spend almost all day on the phone or social media talking to authors in our book programs, broadcasting helpful information to potential authors everywhere, helping our published authors take themselves and their businesses to a new level, and ensuring the handful of opportunities we have to publish in our programs before we change to a more focused and exclusive model are filled by only the very best or highest potential candidates.
So for years I’ve had to spend at least three hours every evening catching up on my inbox – sometimes glued to my laptop from 9pm until 2am. I failed to see my problem until my fiancee Paul moved from his UK home to mine and started living in my time zone, which forced me to notice the amount of my life I was dedicating to my email.
The horrifying truth is that, in the last year, not including iPhone communications, I’ve spent 1,118 hours – more than 46 days, or 12.7% of my life – managing my inbox. When I saw this I knew the only way out was to give it up entirely.
Lots of people have asked me HOW I made this shift because they are interested in doing it too, but that’s only part of the lesson I want to share with you. What I really want you to know is that you can make difficult, even shocking decisions like this one in order to design the life you want to live. You have more power than you realize!
It wasn’t just about losing time. Energetically my email was like carrying a bag of rocks everywhere I went, with the new messages indicator serving as a drain that tied me to a large number of people, constantly reminding me of the number of things I hadn’t done, or serving as an ongoing interruption in my business and personal life as I micromanaged all of my company’s projects.
It became clear that, instead of powering my business, email was the biggest single hindrance to me serving my clients to 100% of my ability. So three weeks ago I had my assistant lock me out of my inbox. And I can confidently say that it’s one of the best business and lifestyle decisions I’ve ever made.
Serving my authors-in-transformation and published authors are my highest priorities and I’m very available to everyone we work with through our Facebook groups. My team still have emails for our client’s sake, but we collaborate amongst ourselves using tools like Slack and Basecamp. Instead of sprinting to keep up with every message I receive 100% of my energy now goes into serving my clients and potential authors everywhere. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off me and that the dividends of recovering this huge energy drain for my life are multiplying to the benefit of every author I serve-not to mention the huge improvement to my personal life.
Until another way comes clear I will still have to use emails like this one to send out mass communications to all of you, but other than this the only way to get hold of me now is via our Facebook groups or by working with me directly through one of my book programs.
How could your life be better without email? How much of your time do you dedicate to it? Do you really think the impact would be that bad if you simply didn’t have it? What could you do with the time you’d get back, and how could you serve more powerfully without it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below!