What your email inbox reveals about your personality

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If you don’t respond to emails, your coworkers may perceive you as lazy or disinterested, argues Frost & Sullivan CEO Richard Moran.

Psychologists say the way you clean (or don’t clean) your inbox actually does say something about your personality. 
Those who delete quickly and efficiently might be control freaks, while those with 1,000 unread emails may not be as unorganized as you’d think.
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When I texted a friend to say I was thinking about writing an article on what your inbox might reveal about your personality, he immediately texted me back:

“I’ve got three emails in my inbox. What does that say about me?”

“It means you’re the worst,” I texted back.

By “you’re the worst,” of course, I meant, “your ability to manage your digital life is everything I aspire to, and I am therefore insanely jealous.”

Read more: 10 ways to trick your brain into being more productive, according to a neuroscientist

Managing your inbox is an underrated workplace virtue, argues Richard Moran, CEO of consultancy Frost & Sullivan. When employees don’t respond, coworkers perceive them as unorganized and lazy.

At that moment, my personal inbox contained 57 unread emails — but if I’m being completely honest, I’d recently spent a weekend whittling it down from close to 1,000.

As Moran suggests, is my inability to keep a tidy inbox something I should worry about? In other words, if it signaled that I suffered from some deep-seated emotional issue or cognitive deficit beyond simple disorganization. Likewise, I wanted to know if inbox heroes like my friend were actually destined to be more successful than the rest of us.

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Of course, it’s impossible to look at anyone’s inbox and say for sure that he or she is a productivity ninja or a psychopath. Your email management strategy depends heavily on your profession, for example, and the standard flow of email in your office.

But my conversations with experts on psychology and technology still yielded some important (and surprising) insights into the connection between email habits and personality traits. Here’s what I found.

The filer/deleter sees a message in his inbox and takes action immediately.

This person reads the email, sends a response if it calls for one, and then either deletes it (because it’s no longer useful) or archives it in a specific folder. His email count typically hovers around zero.

Larry Rosen, Ph.D., research psychologist and author of “iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us,” admits he falls into this category. Being away from his inbox for too long, he tells Business Insider, makes him nervous — and he suspects it has something to do with his brain.

The brain of a filer/deleter is uniquely wired to react negatively when faced with a bunch of unread messages. “A huge, exploding inbox releases stress-based neurotransmitters, like cortisol, which make them anxious,” Rosen says. Keeping a tidy inbox quells that anxiety, at least temporarily.

Ultimately, Rosen suggests, your email-management strategy comes down to your desire for …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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