Sunday, January 3, 2021

A New Habit for a New Year: Schedule your Gmails

I am a notorious late night worker. I get my second wind after 9 pm and can be very productive into the wee hours. For years, people have asked if I ever sleep because the time stamp on my emails betrays me. One of the new habits I am going to try to adopt this year is to schedule my emails for during business hours.

It's been almost two years since Google added the email scheduling feature, but I still don't take regular advantage of it. In the one-minute video below, I model how to use the feature. There is a small drop-down arrow next to the word Send. Click it to reveal the scheduling options. Some default dates and times will appear, but you can also pick a custom date and time.

Let's say you're an administrator getting caught up on work during a school vacation. Instead of sending out emails that probably won't get read or attended to during vacation, schedule their send for the first day back from break. Now you're crossing things off your to-do list and increasing the likelihood that your staff will add these items to theirs. Or you're a teacher sending out missing work notifications at the end of a day. Maybe try scheduling those emails to go out so they are seen first thing in the morning. A secretary who has to compose the welcome back message? Write it days or weeks ahead of time and schedule the send so you don't have to add the welcome message during the return to school craziness.

I've known how to do this for a while, now I have to develop the habit. When I go to click Send, I'm going to think about my timing. If timing IS everything, this easy feature could mean everything to my work.