Our InboxLight Challenge for the Month of August

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This is not typically the type of post that you are used to seeing here at SSDG, but opening up blog posts to running a freelance/online/small-biz design studio is something that we did our re-branding FOR. Instead of being exclusively Squarespace, we can talk about planners (see our previous post), and managing our inboxes.

I have strict email policies for myself. Clients can email at ANY time of the day, but I only respond 8am-330pm EST Mon-Thursdays, with a few exceptions. That exception is a) emergency b) Fridays on occasion during Friday work days. About 1/3 of my Fridays are work-days, and about 2/3 I take them off 100% for other creative projects (garden, quilting, whatever). So sometimes I have Friday emails, but that’s my exception. The issue is that sometimes it can creep when our brains are on super-speed - you know that speed, where we clean the entire house, and then go to do more work on a Sunday instead of slowing the F down.

I also have some restrictions that help with this that I’ve implemented in the past.

  1. NO WORK EMAILS ON MY PHONE.

  2. NO ASANA ON MY PHONE

  3. NO MASTERMIND SLACK ON MY PHONE

Those probably seem pretty stupid - Meg what do you do if you have someone that needs something right away? Listen, what is right away? If I have a client deadline that day, I’m not far from the computer anyway. So I checked my calendar for August and I have a zero edit week month, which means —> I have zero time where my clients expect me to answer an email back same day, or even multiple times per day for web edits. So my email will consist of regular emails with edits/deadlines, inquiries, and questions sent to SSDG and letting people know we do not edit/change/add resources/ads to our website for SSDG based on didly squat except our own opinions.

So I’m taking it a bit further this month, it’s August and it’s that month where summer turns from fast-paced fun, to those slow moments. It’s a great month to do this challenge.

So if you haven’t implemented any of the above things in your business yet, I HIGHLY suggest them, and if you are up for it, you can join us on diving into the deep-end of what I am dubbing “InboxLight”. What that means is that my inbox is not OPEN for multiple hours per day, it’s light on time spent with the app open. (PS> I use KiwiMail since I have 5+ google emails between personal and biz emails).

InboxLight

  1. Determine the amount of time you are willing to spend on emails. This can be per day or per week. We are doing a per day allowance of 10-15mins total (with an exception for inquiries cause it’s august and that means it’s one of the top 3 inquiry times of the year).

  2. Determine what TIME of day you want to answer emails. You can break it up for 5 mins at the start of the day and 5 mins at the end. Our goal will be: All emails done RIGHT at 8am-815am EST, and then we can check on Asana for client requests in the afternoon. That leaves client conversations going.

  3. Set up your email responder if you don’t already have one. Be sure it’s clear that you will email next business day that’s on your hourly below. We are even going to LINK to this email on SSDG’s reply! Remember if you are doing SALES, to include an FAQ section or more info section for inquiries about a product.

Congratulate Yourself!

Give yourself a serious high-five for accomplishing this each day/week etc. And if you find you are checking in too many times even with the restriction, consider doing yourself a favor — make a bribe for yourself. It worked as kids, so give yourself something in return to get your mind used to not checking every five minutes. What about a dinner at your favorite restaurant for Labor Day weekend when August is over? Bribes work for me lol, I use them constantly with myself, when I need reason to help change my methods.

Do you have strict email restrictions in your business? Tell us how you use them to keep your mind and to-do list relaxed!