Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

3 Email Auto Responders to Break Email Addiction

Image via 4Max/

THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Email Addiction Has Reached Epidemic Proportions. If You Don’t Take Proper Precautions, It Will Soon Take Over the Planet.

Seriously. According to a Kings College study that Tim Ferriss often cites, email and phone distractions lower people’s IQ more than drugs. Crazy!

In response to this national crisis, I have been developing a email Detox Program. But to get the ball rolling, I wanted to share a few effective email auto responders that can help you break the vicious cycle of treating your email message indicator like a fire alarm.

Once you set the expectation that you will not immediately respond to email, these auto-responders will become unnecessary. But for now, the emails below can be your “patch” during the detox process.

Email Auto Responder #1

Tim Ferriss provides a form email auto responder in Chapter 7 of his book The 4-Hour Workweek. This email corresponds with his suggested method of checking email at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Email Auto Responder #2

This is an auto responder used by Mitch Matthews, a trainer, coach, and connector extraordinaire! Mitch says it’s helped him to psychology let go of the compulsion to constantly respond to email.

Subject Line: “Thanks for connecting! Re: Subject Line of Original email”



Thanks for your email.

I’m sending this to let you know that due to a number of exciting
projects, I am only checking and responding to email once a day.

You and your email are important.

So… if you need an urgent response, please call the Matthews Group,
Inc. toll-free number at 800.491.5316.

If it is not urgent, know that I will respond to your email as
quickly as possible.

Thanks again for connecting and thanks for understanding this move
towards greater effectiveness.

Have a fantastic day!


Mitch Matthews,
Coach, Speaker & Connector

p: 800.491.5316
f:  515.221.3801

Check out these “kick” connection projects:

Email Auto Responder #3

This is an example of an auto responder from Patrick Combs, an amazing speaker and coach who is on on the road frequently. It lets people know that he cares about their message but might not get back to them immediately.


Ah, your email has arrived but alas it might take me time to respond. So…

If you need an immediate, time sensitive response please contact me through my office: [office manager's email address] or (858) 759-6994. Phones are more fun anyways.

If you have my direct line, feel free to call me. And…

If you are seeking my coaching, might you consider my coaching program? It puts you on the phone with me on a regular basis and you can ask me anything you wish. It’s less than $1/day.

Many blessings,
Sharing Success,
Patrick Combs
(858) 759-6994
And on FaceBook

What tips do you have for reducing email stress? 

Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the author of The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success With Less Stress and is the founder of Real Life E Time Coaching & Training. For more time investment tips, check out

Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover™ ( process. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs. McGraw Hill is publishing Elizabeth’s first book: The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success With Less Stress

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.