- Set boundaries. Let’s be honest: A quick check of your inbox will often result in a rabbit hole of small, low priority tasks, and new email notifications can be insanely interruptive. Try checking your email only once an hour (or less!) and limiting how much time you spend on it. Most of it probably isn’t urgent, anyway.
- Send less, get less. Most emails you send will get a reply, even if it’s just “thank you.” Be thoughtful about what emails you send, because they’ll be back in your inbox with friends in tow.
- Read once and decide. You know those emails that sit in your inbox for two weeks while you figure out how to deal with them? Stop letting them happen. Make a commitment to read each email only once, and come to an immediate decision. Any email that can’t be handled quickly should probably be a phone call anyway.
Email is a powerful tool, and when mishandled, it can be a powerful distraction. Simplify your email, and you’ll find that your work benefits.