Ask yourself: Do you control your email, or does it control you?
If you’re like most people, you’ll have a hard time saying anything but the latter. But, creating a daily email routine will save you hours each week and improve your ability to close-out tasks.
First, you must create a structure to your daily email routine with some good habits:
- Check your inbox at regularly scheduled times — once in the morning, once before lunch, once in the mid-afternoon, and once before you leave work
- Turn off the distracting pop-up new mail notification
- Answer any message that can be responded to in 2 minutes or less
- Create a task for any message requiring detailed response
- Use action-oriented subject lines with messages you create
- Save your recipient time by writing specific and concise responses
Make your rules part of a standard routine each day, and follow them religiously. You should make exceptions only when you anticipate project-related messages.
Yes, email is a necessary part of your daily communication, but it can easily harm your productivity. Avoid the common workflow disruptions of frequent check-ins, unnecessary messages, and vague responses.
Start creating your routine today. Fine tune your email habits and have a productive week!
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[photo by Sean MacEntee]