I’ve been reading many sources that say you shouldn’t keep your email open all day. They suggest having your email program turned off, except during dedicated blocks of time where you can focus entirely on emails.
I see both sides of the argument, but I’m going explain why having my email open all day, has benefited me and my clients.
Email Open During “Select” Times
Many people have suggested that you can be more productive if you don’t have your email open all day. I understand this helps you to dedicate and focus on your tasks-at-hand. In this respect I see the value in their suggestion.
However, as a small business owner, I feel it would actually be bad for my business.
Email Open ALL day
Yes, I have my email open ALL day. I also get emails pushed to my blackberry when I’m out or in the kitchen. The only times I am ‘not’ available is when I’m sleeping or at a family event (like dinner or a family outing). I think my clients appreciate that when they email me, I usually respond within a few minutes of receiving their email.
I have one client who emails their entire bank of freelancers when they need help with a project…the first to respond get’s it. For clients like these, I am able to respond, within seconds or minutes, resulting in me getting the project.
Of course I do let some emails slide, without an immediate response. But ones that have a question or query, I endeavor to respond right away, especially when it’s related to an approaching deadline.
Basically, I think that my clients appreciate the fact that I can respond right away to their queries. It has also resulted in being awarded contracts that are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Why 24-7 works for me…
While it may mean temporary unproductive-ness during certain hours of the day, I compensate with my work schedule. I am most productive in the afternoon and late evenings (when less emails come in) and I also often work on weekends when even less emails come in.
Also, first impressions with new clients are important. As a freelancer, I always need to be “selling” myself and looking for work. I am able to quickly respond to new client queries, and get right back to my existing work. Basically, I found a way to be productive and always (well, almost always) available.
PS: I am not a work-a-holic, so please don’t send me links to therapy sites. If you are a freelancer or are self-employed you know what I mean. I still have lots of time for my hobbies (including baking/cooking, photography, videography,and travel).Filed under Work Stuff | Comments (3)