So I wanted to share this tip with you But first..... Did you know that our brains are over 2 million years old? And they haven't developed that much since then. What this means is that we hold a lot of hard-wired thinking that makes us behave in ways that aren't really that helpful in our modern world! Let's meet Dave
Dave needs to survive by eating But Dave's environment is dangerous Dave's brain realises that if he sits there and does nothing he will starve and die...the brain doesn't want that. So what does the brain do? It releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine to make Dave attentive and give him the motivation to find food Dave suddenly wakes up, alert and ready for action. He sees a bunch of bananas in a tree over there But.... There's a huge lion in the way. "Oh crap" thinks Dave "guess I will just have to starve" "No Dave" cries the brain and hits him again with another dose of dopamine Suddenly Dave is up and mapping a route out to the next tree. Then he waits till the lions back is turned and runs like hell to the next tree. "YES," thinks Dave....made it. He looks over at his prize....mmmm....they look delicious. But the lion has turned back around and now stands between Dave and glory. "Oh well," thinks Dave...."suppose I will just have to starve" "No" shouts the brain and smashes Dave again with another bigger dose of dopamine Now Dave is really up for it and lion or no, he is going to have them bananas Dave runs as fast as he can up the branches of his tree and hurls himself with all his strength into the banana tree. He grabs hold of the nearest branch. But.... it's wet he grabs he slips falls through the branches hits the ground with a thud looks up and.....
On the grass staring at the lion...and it looked very hungry. ”Quick Dave” shouts the brain, “get back into the tree” But Dave has frozen. Stricken with fear caused by the neurochemical cortisol that’s now flooding his system. BANG! The brain hits Dave with a wall of dopamine to get him out of it and Dave springs into action. Climbing up the tree as quickly as he can...ever closer to his prize. Up he goes, dodging spikes and various creepy crawlies to finally reach them Hooray!! Dave sits down and munches away. The dopamine had done its job. So what’s the point here? Well,, fast forward 2 million years and we don’t need to dodge lions to get bananas. We go to Tesco.
Not much dopamine needed there then Now dopamine is the success drug. It’s highly addictive So what does the more “evolved” Dave do? His brain wants the dopamine fix from something else. So it creates behaviours to get what it wants. Heres what it tells Dave to do....
When we get an email we sometimes see it as an opportunity Maybe we got that big order Maybe its a promotion Maybe the customer has a problem Maybe I have to go to see the boss It's like Russian roulette....but with the shots of dopamine that we get when we see that little notification button, we just can't resist. Even if it takes us away from what we were doing before. Is it good news or is it bad news? Resistance is futile So how does this relate to the hundreds of thousands I mentioned? Consider how addicted you are to email. How does that affect your team? Are you one of “those” companies? A Company that copies the whole world in on an email just to “keep people in the loop”. Even when they have nothing to do with the contents? This really is an epidemic and the story of Dave goes some way to help understand why we do it Question is “what will you do to stop it?” If you consider how much time people spend on email each day. How much time is wasted because they are stop/starting the work they are doing? On average, your team are effective 20% of any working week. The other 80% is wasted time. Think about that... If your salary bill is £100k per month - you may as well throw £80k away Ouch! Train your team on how to deal with email. If you are in an environment where there is constant email chatter...consider it this way... EMAIL IS SOMEONE ELSE'S TO DO LIST FOR YOU It's like someone running up to you and shouting in your ear...
I can't see that working too well in person...and yet we put up with it digitally. So what to do? Limit exposure to email and follow these top 5 tips:-
Turn off ALL email notifications on desktop and mobile
Access it twice a day and for 30 mins
Be clear and concise in the subject so that you can select the most important ones to deal with at a glance.
Don't let email conversations deal with anything other than the transfer of information. Emails can very easily be read the wrong way!
Do not encourage emails to be sent out of hours. This trains everyone that they can't switch off - this isn’t helpful
Don't be busy, be productive. Email is a fantastic tool but it rules too many people lives. Give it a go. This one thing will seriously positively affect your bottom line