Take back the control of your time: refuse email

I hate email!
Email is a medium that you’re not in control of. A person can send you an email with a task or something they want you to do even if you haven’t approved the task.
The common view is that once you’ve sent the email, the task in it becomes the receivers problem. Most people expect others to reply to an email, or a task in a email, within 5 to 10 minutes.

Let’s put this into some perspective.
Take my calendar for example.
You wouldn’t go into my calendar to book a 5 minute or 10 minute or even a 1 minute meeting without my approval. However, you would send me an email containing a task you want me to do, that would take me 15 or 10 minutes, and expect me to have it done within 5 to 10 minutes.
My ToDo-list is another example. You wouldn’t find yourself scribling down little todo’s in my list without my prior consent, would you?
You would however send me a todo in an email, expecting me to jump at it, without any hesitation.

Is there a logic to this behavior or is it just plane rude and based on total lack of respect for other peoples time?

It’s probably neither but it is based on a profound human drive: laziness.

It is a behavior based on the fact that it is easier for me to just send you the task and then expect it to be your problem rather then talking to you first to see if you are willing to do it and then send you the task. In my opinion that is totally disrespectful behavior towards your colleagues, customers or who ever you communicate this way with.

That’s why I have started to refuse email. I see your email, I probably read them but I rarelly answer them within 24 or 48 hours. I do return phone calls and answer my phone which becomes obvious for those who’s been winding themselves up over my lack of response.

This creates some debate, with the same poeple who only use email, and then I tell them the following when they call me and are irritated:
I don’t read emails that often since I’m busy working with my employees and customers. If it would have been urgent you would have called me, right?
It is still your responsibility as the sender of the information to make sure that I get it and that I accept to perform the task you want me to do.
If it was the other way around I could send you an email telling you to transfer one million dollars to my account by noon and you would have to that.

There are no more discussions about email after that.

Try it, you’ll like it!

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