Harnessing Your Creative Energy By Ignoring Your Email

Unlock Your Creative Potential

Brendon Burchard is the Anti-Dilbert, challenging us all to find The Charge (or spark or passion or whatever you want to call it) in our lives and careers. It has a spillover effect. You find the charge at work and are able to bring it home and vice versa.

His arguments are persuasive and imbued with scientific research … that humans have, for millennia, a drive to learn and create. It’s what has taken us out of caves. That makes sense to me. And when we lose that personal connection for creative learning as a result of modern corporate life (a.k.a. cross-functional teams), we lose the charge as surely as we slog miserably in and out of beige office cubicles.

His best-selling book, The Charge, helps reignite that passion at work but he also has helpful and specific advice that resonated with me. His biggest tip was about managing email. It’s so true that email is a HUGE distraction for me. It doesn’t help that I have 4 email accounts (two for work, two for blogs) but I find that email  — reading and responding — can suck out large portions of the day that leave me feeling drained, unproductive, dissatisfied and downright cranky.

I’m glad Brendon pointed this out as The Number One Enemy against creative productivity. His solution is like meditation. It sounds a lot easier than it is to actually do.

It’s fairly simple though:

As you start your day, SCAN your email for urgent and important messages.

READ those. IGNORE THE REST (at least for now).

That’s right. Now do the important things on your To Do list. Tackle those big things that need your focused concentration. Don’t let email rob you of that time and turn you into a distracted zombie.

I find need enormous discipline to ignore the other distractions that include email, Twitter, Pinterest, and being pinged. And it helps to have looming deadlines to get focused thus justifying why I’m ignoring my email. But Brendon is absolutely right. Not being a slave to email allows you time mind-share to get focused, creative and productive which feels enormously satisfying.

I had a career coach who is now a life coach so I’m not surprised that Brendon is life coach on steroids … a high performance coach for celebrities and high-powered business executives. In my past life when I worked full-time, I work as an in-house company entrepreneur starting businesses and exploring opportunities. When the Dot Com bubble burst in the early 2000’s, we had to stop expanding and contract. My role shifted to business development and I was frustrated and upset.

It was easy to stay in that place of unhappiness but it didn’t do me any good. My first step out of my rut was to hire a career coach and her message was similar to Brendan’s. It turns out that I needed a creative outlet. If my work no longer provided that, then it was up to me to find a way to get it. My career coach challenged me to take an art class during work hours. At first this seemed daunting. Should I take a pay cut? Can I really “sneak” out of work? Is this even related my job or my personal state of happiness? It seemed … so decadent.

A quick meeting with the H.R. Director was all it took to get approval and no pay was docked. Subtracting 3 hours from a 45-50 hour work week turns out to be no big deal. I signed up for a water color class at the Museum of Fine Arts near by and spent every Tuesday morning walking by famous artists before entering my class. 1 art class was all it took to put me into a positive frame of mind that lasted all week.

As for my email, I didn’t have a smart phone back then so there was no way to check email constantly remotely at art class. And you know what? No one cared. Nothing bad happened. There are no consequences for ignoring the vast majority of emails and not responding immediately to them.

I just need to remember that. Thanks Brendan! I feel better already!

Order your free copy of The Charge today!

Share with us what makes you feel most alive for a chance to win a High Performance Academy Online Seminar with Brendon Burchard, author of The Charge (valued at $1,000).

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burchard Group Sponsored Conversation. The opinions and text are all mine. Burchard Group Sweepstakes and Rules.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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