Productivity Minute: Control Your Email Habits

organize your email tips

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]

2 thoughts on “Productivity Minute: Control Your Email Habits

  1. I agree about the importance of a structured workday. Also it’s important when you come across an email that takes more than a minute, that you put that task into some kind of system, not just scribble it on a note on your desk.

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