How often do you check your email? How often are you responding to email? I am going to guess that it is probably too often.
Up until about eight years ago, I checked my email whenever it arrived. You know the deal, right? I had Outlook notifications turned on so that I knew whenever an email arrived into my inbox. It would ding. It would display notification. If that was not enough, I also had a little envelope icon letting me know that I had not check it yet. I am not sure how I got anything done.
About eight years ago, I was introduced to David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology. This is when I started not only checking my email at certain times, but also responding at certain times as well.
Email is not your job. Believe it or not, there are very few positions out there where email is part of your job. They do exist, but for most people this is not the case.
Check email at specific times. This will definitely feel very weird in the beginning. Just keep in mind that you are breaking a habit. I try to check my email four times per day. I usually check it at 10:00 a.m., Noon, 2:00 p.m., & 4:00 p.m. At times in the past, I have checked as few as twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Respond to email at specific times. I try to only respond a couple of times a day if possible. Usually at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Anytime you can batch process anything you will increase your productivity.
I am not always perfect with this, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. You will be controlling your inbox instead of letting it control you.
How often do you check your email? Have you found that batch processing works for you? Leave a comment by clicking here.