Email Can Kill Productivity

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Productivity

How often do you check your email? Monday I sat down and found that I personally waste approximately 2hrs of my workday checking my email.

It is true. You could have 20% more time in your work day. Sad thing is people rarely take immediate action on the emails they get. You may label them and attempt to organize them, but usually we only respond to them at the beginning or end of the day. Most of the interaction with email is actually checking to see what’s there. Refreshing then checking all the folders requires stopping what you are working on to see if there is a new task or something that requires instant attention. It is a very distracting compulsion. Is there ever going to be anything emthat/em important come through email? The answer is, almost always, NO.

Think about it. When you are checking your email, you are procrastinating. Most of us start the day with a todo list work from and then, before you know it, you are checking email looking for something that may need to take priority. We are letting our email define our day. This is the habit we must try to break.

a href=””img class=”size-full wp-image-1567″ alt=”When to check your email.” src=”” width=”640″ height=”814″ //a When to check your email.

Here is an exercise to try if you are an email over checker:
First, get your current email system organized. Create folders, filters, and labels and get your inbox tidy. Take one week and try only checking your email twice a day. Checking mid-morning and one hour before end of work is what I suggest. Tell some of those that you normally communicate with via email what you are attempting in order to make yourself more productive. Let them know how they can reach you in case of a real emergency. It may be helpful to add this emergency contact info in your email signature. Discipline yourself to only check during these times and stick to it. Do not keep email open in your browser for this week. Close all email clients and only open during your set email times. After the first week add one more time to check (total of 3) and keep email closed during the rest of the time. Now, once you have completed your 2 weeks crash course, open back up your email client or browser tab. Use the favicon or notifications to prompt you to check but only every 1 hour. Fine tune your filters to only notify you of predefined important emails (using from email address or subject line).

Give this a shot and see if it helps you. Email is the first big distraction but similar issues with social networking sites can be equally as destructive. It’s about minimizing distractions and getting things done.



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