Set Aside Time to Check Email

In the age of smart phones, it’s tempting to respond to every single email the second it comes in. It might feel productive—but not if it’s distracting you from all the other tasks you have to complete! Schedule specific times to process email and your productivity will soar.

Blocking out time for email means you’ll never become overwhelmed.

If you expect to keep your email under control, you’ve got to set regular times to process it. For some reason, a lot of people feel that email is something we’re supposed to get to when we have spare time. But let’s face it: who has spare time? And if you magically did have some spare time, would you want to spend it processing email? I doubt it. Alternatively, in the age of smart phones you might be checking your email constantly—answering every last message the second it comes in. If you get emails all day long, this can take away from the time you need to spend on the important aspects of your job.

Set three times throughout your day to process email—once in the morning, once in the early afternoon or after lunch, and once at the end of the day. For most of us that will handle the amount of email that comes in. Very few of us are on a 24-hour cycle where we are expected to respond to email instantly. If you process it three times throughout the business day, it won’t ever be more than a few hours before someone will receive a response. That’s pretty good. Even if you do it just two times a day, that’s still very effective.

Whatever your required need for responsiveness is, make sure that you set a schedule around processing your email that fits with that. You don’t want to do your email once a week and have 300 messages waiting for you, nor do you want to check email every ten minutes to be distracted by one or two messages that aren’t actually very high priority. Find the balance that is right for you and block those times out on your calendar as a real appointment with yourself.

If you’re wondering how to implement these strategies, we’d be happy to chat with you. Contact us for a complimentary strategy session by going to

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