Don't Let Email Control Your Life

Dont Let Email Control Your Life

With all of the time wasters in our lives, email is possibly one of the worst culprits. Here are five ways that you can help gain back control of your time:

1. Don't check email every hour

Constantly checking for new emails does nothing but waste your time. Oh sure, you might have a new piece of junk mail or two that you can delete. Or a newsletter that you can read through, but nothing of consequence. Instead of checking for new emails hourly, check email just a few times a day. The simple act of logging into your email and looking for something new adds up to valuable minutes of your day. Do it less often and you'll save time.

2. If you must check often...

Stay on task. Many people need to check email for work. If this is the case, it is important that you can separate what you need to open and what you want to open. If you go to your inbox to check for new work emails and there is an email from your best friend, will you be able to resist the temptation and stick to work emails? If you can't, then it's probably important that you set up a separate email address for work. If you have an email address assigned by work, set up a separate email for non-work related items.

3. Open and reply

Checking email can be fun. Replying is not always so much fun. You spend time reading all of your new emails and then you don't leave the time to reply. The next time that you check your email make sure that you have the time to not only read but reply to what you opened. If you can't reply right away, you don't have the time to be checking email. Reading emails twice, once for your own curiosity and again when you want to reply is a time waster. Next time you read an email, reply to it if it requires a reply. If it doesn't require and answer, file it or delete it.

4. Turn off notifications

Notifications that tell you who has emailed you are more useful than just telling you that you have one new email. Don't bother with a notification system that doesn't tell you the sender. This creates too much curiosity. When your notification tells you who has emailed you can ignore it or open it at your discretion. If you are someone who can't help but check email when a notification comes in even if it's not important, it's best to turn them off and avoid the distraction.

5. Short and sweet replies

Most of us are dealing with a lack of time in all areas of our lives so it's important to not invest too much time into one area. It's not possible to write novel length emails as much as we might want to. Most people don't have time to read long emails either, so make it a point to answer questions posed to you and insert a question of your own, as well as a piece of news if you have something to share. Emails can be short and still fun to read. It's often the longer emails that really say nothing of importance.

Email is a great convenience in many ways, but it can also be a major distraction. Learn how you best deal with email and makes any necessary changes that will help you be more productive with your time

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