Life Junk Drawer
Taking Charge of The Inbox

Simple! Don’t read the messages as they come in. Read them periodically, no more than every hour or so. Or perhaps even just once or twice a day. Research shows that it takes several minutes to recover from each work interruption, and that’s what scattered email reading leads to. Now for a big tip, turn off the email notifications! That way you stop jumping each time a new email pings in.

The next step is this: don’t take significant actions on emails when you first read them – unless they are truly urgent. Instead, put those actions on your to-do list.

As you read through your batch of emails, task each one that needs action onto your to-do list. Prioritize them as you would any other task. This way you treat your email no more or no less importantly than the other tasks in your day. I suggest writing your task list first, then checking your in-box, adding your email tasks to the list and then prioritising the entire list. That way your e-mail doesn’t rule you – you rule your email.