Keep Email from Ruining Your Week

Project 365: Day 57 - The Day I Sent 90 Emails Jumpstart Monday | Get your week off to a great start with the Day-Timer blog. Each Monday we’re going to feature a new tip to help you gain a more productive week at work and at home.
Today’s tip: Sharpen Your Email Routine

Your inbox never sleeps. It was full when you got to work this morning, and it will likely be full when you leave work today.

Don’t fear, there’s hope. Here’s the key to having a productive week by keeping email from monopolizing your time.

Try This:

Create a structure to your daily email routine. Consider the following rules for your blueprint:

– 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. Make exceptions only when you anticipate project-related messages.

Here’s Why:

While a necessary part of your daily communication, email can harm your productivity. Overuse commonly occurs due to frequent check-ins, unnecessary messages, and vague responses. It quietly eats minutes of time from your day, and it destroys your workflow by breaking your concentration mid-task.

Creating a routine establishes a set of responsible habits that can save you hours each week and improve your ability to close-out tasks.

Create your routine now. You can sharpen your email routine and have a productive week!

[photo by Cara Photography]
Jeff Doubek Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at