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Wait, don't (immediately) send that email!

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There is a truth in modern life no one wants to admit – we are addicted to email. We hate it, yet we absolutely love it. The long list of things to read and process, to decide what is important or not. The rush we get as we finally tackle a few of those emails. The dopamine surge when a new batch arrives. The desire to hit Inbox Zero.

Since leaving Centarro and starting Bluehorn Digital, I have finally had my surge of email as I communicate with more clients and prospective leads. And, like most, I can find myself doing email at unsavory hours as I catch up on loose ends. But, this creates a two-fold consequence.

  1. My recipient might be like myself and catching up on email, or be easily tempted by that "new email" notification on their phone. I have now fed into their own late-night email craze
  2. I am setting unhealthy expectations. My recipient sees the timestamp the email was sent. This creates the perception of "ever available". Send me an email at 8:00 PM? There's a good chance I might answer it!

None of this is healthy for you or those you communicate with. Of course, this is a bit more difficult if you have cohorts in different timezones.

One of my favorite features of Gmail is its scheduled send functionality. You are able to access the option to schedule send by clicking the drop-button next to send.

A dialog pops up allowing you to select a time to send. It'll provide some suggested times. I'm writing this on a Saturday morning, and I can't recall what appears on a work day. I just know the first suggestion is usually the next day at 8:00 AM. Which is perfect. Does your email really need to be sent at 7:00 PM, 9:00 PM, or dare I say midnight?

This also gives you a chance to review the email before it sends and not spend all night crafting the perfect draft. Get it good enough, schedule it for later in the morning. Then use a fresh mind and a cup of coffee to make sure it is just right. When you have scheduled emails to be sent, a new Scheduled option appears below Sent.

The great news is that this is available on the mobile applications, too. Just in case you're also the kind of person to cruise through emails on your phone while something on Food Network or the Cooking channel is droning on in the background.

Now, if only Slack could implement such a feature.

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