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Ignore your emails

In the “old days” your working day was not driven by emails. These days, how many of us spend our day responding to emails and trying to fit in the work we want or need to do, around the demands that land in our in box every day.

So, here’s a radical idea. Ignore your emails. OK I don’t mean ignore them completely, but manage them. Try opening your emails at set times of the day. For a start, NOT first thing in the morning, otherwise that sets you off on the wrong path for the day.  How about 10:00am? That’s reasonable. I’m quite sure that most things will wait an hour before action, and if it’s really that important, someone will probably phone you anyway!

Once you’ve read your emails, deleted the junk, delegated whatever you can, and made a list (on paper) of the actionable tasks – turn off your email program’s auto send/receive. That way you won’t be distracted by even more emails before you’ve completed the tasks you’ve just started.  Only switch it back on at your next “online” time. How about 1:00 or 2:00, then again at 4:00. You’re still reading your emails 3 or 4 times a day, which should be enough for most people!

Taking this approach, I believe you’ll now have an extra hour or so “free” each day, so you can start to do some of the things that YOU need to do. Write that blog entry, finish off that project, proof read that article, even read the latest news. Or plan that new project that’s been on the back burner “when you’ve got the time”. If you now have 1 hour a day “extra”, you’ve got yourself almost another working day each week… use it wisely!!


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  1. October 21st, 2012 at 21:58 | #1
  2. October 22nd, 2012 at 06:38 | #2
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