Your smartphone, your tablet, your laptop — work emails are accessible virtually everywhere. We have the ability to refresh our inboxes on the spot, at any moment. In fact, according to the Adobe Email Usage Study, consumers spend approximately five hours a day checking work emails alone.
That study also revealed that work emails are opened 80% of the time, while personal receive a mere 57% open rate. In an always-on field, like medical sales, the open rates and hours spent checking work emails are likely exponentially higher.
The constant need to check and immediately respond to emails has become an obsession. Take a step back, be honest with yourself, and see how your email addiction could be hurting your medical sales career and personal life:
1. You’re setting unreasonable expectations
Your medical sales career is demanding by nature. Leaders consistently set high expectations for both goals and quotas. Customers also expect a level of professionalism, quick responses, and price points. It’s more pressure than many can handle.
The expectations you set for yourself, however, are the ones you can control. Working off the clock — or round the clock — by frequently checking in on your email is an unreasonable expectation. It’s impossible to give your inbox constant attention and have the power to meet the needs of customers, leaders, family members, and your own personal needs to stay sane and healthy.
2. You’re distracted from immediate growth opportunities
Checking emails throughout the day is often coined as simply ‘multitasking.’ In reality, though, multitasking is a myth. Psychologists say the real term is “rapid task-switching” because we can only actually do one thing at a time.
This means the hours you spend checking your email throughout the day are lost. For those instants, your focus is fully pulled from other potentially life-changing moments in your medical sales career.
For example, consider the amount of time you spend looking at emails while waiting for appointments. While your focus is on your screen, you’re neglecting valuable opportunities to make meaningful connections with office staff. Those in-the-now moments you’re missing could be your window of opportunity to make a lasting positive impression.
3. Your mental stores are exhausted
Like many highly-motivated medical sales reps, you want to do it all. You want to be at the top of your sales game while also giving your best self at home. Unfortunately, we only have so much mental capacity to offer.
The brainpower you use to continually check your email is pulling critical mental energy. By the end of the day, there’s little left to interact with family and friends. At the same time, it’ll be more challenging to reboot and be prepared to network effectively in the days to come.
4. You’re burning out — and taking others with you
The energy you gain from peers and loved ones is critical for medical sales career success. In the same manner, you have the power to drag that energy down as you near burnout.
An email addiction doesn’t just keep you from enjoying moments with your support system; it also increases the probability of negative encounters. Burnout from email attachment negatively impacts your team members through personal interactions and your decreased ability to hit goals. Your family and friends also suffer from lowered moods and reduced commissions as burnout affects your overall career.
While email has become a powerful business tool, like anything, moderation is key. Be intentional with the time you spend checking your email. Put your phone down when you’re in waiting rooms, have a designated shutdown time while you’re off the clock, and dedicate specific moments during the day to respond to customers.