So I decided to use the Delay Delivery option in my email processing this week to see if it would make much impact. I have to say it did, and I’m going to continue to use it. Here are some of my thoughts:
- Within a day I was going to bed happier and with a clearer mind. I think it was to do with the fact I was no longer worried about whether someone would respond to that last email I sent.
- Within a day I was also waking up happier, knowing that I had time to prepare for my day properly rather than racing upstairs to see if anyone had replied to something I had sent before.
- Partly this was to do with my delay option being set to 8am the following morning – I felt this was a reasonable time to send as it meant that it would be there for most people when they start the day, but also meant that it was unlikely that anyone would be replying to it before I was awake.
- I made two slips on my goal to use Delay Delivery throughout the week – one intentional and one not, both had interesting outcomes:
- The unintentional one was to let someone know I wasn’t feeling well and so might be a bit late up the following morning. This person playfully pointed out that I’d broken my own rule, which helped remind me of why I was doing it. Cool.
- The intentional one actually highlighted the very purpose behind the experiment. I am working with someone on a cool new project. He had emailed me some ideas late in the evening and I initially accidentally left the Delay Delivery off in a reply. Because he responded immediately, I took the time to intentionally reply to him (see, already walking the slippery slope), explained my goal to delay delivery and apologised for my failure, and added some additional comments.
It was his response that brought it home to me:
"To tired to do the brief now, but I can do it in the cab tomorrow morning…"
So, because I had broken my own rule, here was a colleague responding late in the evening and saying he was tired but was obviously feeling pressured enough to get the job done that he was volunteering to do it in a cab. This was unfair on him and was certainly not my intention (which I had even told him in my previous email!).
So, the upshot of all this? I found this week to be a happier week overall even though it’s been pretty busy. I also made an impact on others who noticed the communication style change and expressed a positive reaction about it, and finally, I saw the direct result of me not following the rule.
Delay Delivery continues! Now, if I could just make it happen in Outlook Web Access I’d be laughing. 🙂