Are you constantly drowning in email? If you're like most desk dwellers, you're probably feel like you're in a never-ending battle against email and never get any impactful work done.
For years I was battling email myself. Spending hours stuck in email feeling like I was doing work, but at the end of the week realizing I didn't have much tangible to show from it.
Finally I got fed up with living in reactive mode and feeling like I was treading water. Invested my time to learning about and developing my own system for managing email.
Although I still have to push myself to stay disciplined, I've been fortunate enough to BREAK OUT of the grips of the email time trap. I believe that you deserve to save yourself from the email trap and focus on more impactful work too.
In today's Bite-Sized Bit, we're going to chat about how to think about email and offer some practical tips for setting up your own email management system.
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Since I Recorded This
One great tool I discovered after recording this is Focus. Focus is a desktop app that allows you to block specific URL's at specific times.
I've setup a schedule that blocks me from email, social media, slack, etc. for 4 hours each morning so that I can focus on heads down work.
I noticed myself then going to my phone (argh, it's an addiction), so I've also had to drop my phone into a desk drawer to make it "out of sight, out of mind".
What About Slack / HipChat / Messangers?
Living in the tech world, we're seeing more and more companies shifting from email to internal messaging systems such as Slack to communicate and collaborate.
Generally speaking, I feel using a messenger like Slack is a great shift as it is much more collaborative, real-time and fun. However, the principle of what we're trying to avoid is the same .... noise. Yes, for the time being, living in Slack helps cut down on all the bullshit email noise and focuses the conversation with just your team. But, it is just as (maybe even more) easy to get sucked into living on Slack and not focusing on getting impactful work done.
Just like email, you need to manage your messaging usage and be smart on when, where and why to use it. When is it productive and when is it pulling you away and becoming noise.
If you have other ideas, tips and tricks you've used to effectively "tame the email beast", please share in the comments below.
Additional Email Management Resources:
- [blog] - How to Decrease Email Overwhelm by Tim Ferriss
- [book] - Getting Things Done
- [blog] - How to Become an Email Ninja by Leo Babauta
- [Luke's Library] - Books on Time Management and Efficiency
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