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You've Got Mail - Keeping Communication Personal in a Digital World

Colton Mason
October 6, 2015

I recently decided to take on the daunting task of cleaning up my inbox. I had really let it get away from me with a massive amount of emails still sitting there waiting for me to either "reply" or "delete". I had scanned most of them as they had come in over the past few weeks and handled the top priorities, but really slacked on the daily task of keeping all my correspondence caught up. So...I rolled up my sleeves and decided I would have a clean inbox before I started my weekend.

The Culture of Communication

Isn't it funny how we have turned into a culture obsessed with technology? Desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, smart TVs – it seems all we do all day is look at screens. Even if we are off work, we are still working. We have become fixated with staying in constant contact with each other. I remember when I was growing up, no one had cell phones. You actually had to remember your friend's home phone number (that's right – I said "home" phone. Don't you remember those?), and if you were "going out" you just told everyone you would see them when you got back. There were no text messages, tweets, or Facebook feeds to keep us entertained. To find out how someone's day was, you actually had to ask them.

Going Unplugged: The Personal and Professional Benefits

So what does this blog post have to do with wound care? It doesn't. It has to do with you. This week make it a goal to become more involved with people – your patients, colleagues, family, and friends - and less involved with your smartphone. Turn it off for a day and see where you end up. I bet it will surprise you how much more you actually get done – both on a personal and professional level.

So here are three things you can do this week to "unplug" from technology, and be a little more old fashioned:

Number 1 – Make the first thing you reach for in the morning a cup of coffee, not your cell phone.

Number 2 – Instead of a "thank you" email, send a handwritten card. People love getting things in the mail. Just look at the success of new companies such as Birchbox and Bespoke Post (both of which I am a member of, check them out!) It's become a rare thing to get a card or a letter in the mail, so take advantage of that and use it to stand out among your colleagues, family and friends. You get extra points for using real stamps.

Number 3 – Pick up the phone. If you are like me, you get hundreds of emails per day. Due to the sheer volume of emails people and businesses now receive, it has basically become the new fax blast. The old fashioned answer is clear: pick up the phone and talk to people. Whether you need to confirm something with a colleague, follow up with a patient, or set up a meeting - use that piece of technology that has been keeping all of us in business for decades. Yes, it's not something you can automate, but that is kind of the beauty of it. So this month, make it a goal to send fewer emails and talk to more people. I promise you will make more friends, connect more strongly with your patients and enjoy your job more at the same time.

The good news is that I started the weekend off with a clean inbox. The bad news – when I got back to my office on Monday morning, 50 more emails were there waiting on me. Does that unsubscribe button really work?

About the Author
Colton Mason is the Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Supreme Medical Fulfillment Systems - a national wholesale distributor of medical supplies and equipment that specializes in wound care.

His syndicated column, Healthcare Caffeine, is read by thousands of health care professionals every week – and he is pleased to deliver this special WoundSource Edition, featuring exclusive content specific to the wound care industry.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, HMP Global, its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.