2 Powerful Tips to Keep Email from Running Your Life

BlogProductivity | March 5 2014

Do you ever get the feeling that your day is ran by your email? It’s as if your computer and your email is running you, you aren’t running them. For years, I was under the misbelief that everything needed to happen as soon as possible and answered asap. Not necessarily. Here are 2 powerful tips to keep email from running your life.

Over the last few months I did an experiment that started to take hold and really found it made me more efficient and more productive. It produced the most precious commodity in my life: MORE TIME

1. Turn off all Alerts– Anytime I would hear an alert, I would look at my email and notice it would be nothing but an advertisement to my favorite store. These would become distracting and take me away from my goals and tasks I was currently working on. The best thing to do is to set your phone and computer on “check manually”. This also sets you up for distraction. Since you are already checking for email you then navigate to social media for a fix. This leads to our next tip..

2. Check Twice a Day– I check my email at 12pm and 4pm. What is really amazing is that 1 out of 10 emails actually have to do with anything related to revenue or money. If your day is about making revenue and producing sales then this technique is key. It takes me less than 2-8 minutes to answer the emails. Very few emails are asking for information. Therefore, I don’t spend a great deal of time “answering” email. If someone is “sharing” something I can read that info later.

I found that when people and clients understand that these are the preferred times of communication that less emails happen, the emails that “are” produced are more productive and people get to the point quicker.

The amount of time sitting at the phone or computer is dwindled to less than 15 minutes a day.

The payoff is taking back control of your life and time. If time is money, and money isn’t produced on emails then let’s use the new found time to produce content, sales and products that produce results. I found that my efficiency soared and I gained hours to do what I had been begging for: Time with the kids, conversations with eye contact, journaling, writing and peace of mind. More important: TIME

It took me a few days to get used to not checking email until 12pm. I’d wake up in the morning and usually check all social media and emails. Then I’d spend 6 hours juggling. Now, I am able to have quiet mornings focusing on me, working out and reading/mediating. Life. My time with getting the kids ready for school aren’t divided. Driving and checking the phone has been removed as a distraction. If text messages run your life too, turn off your alerts and only allow your spouse a special alert.

Action steps: Turn off alerts when mail comes in. Set your settings to “manually check”. This also saves battery life on your phone. Look at email at the two times set. You will also find that you’ve probably have been checking at least 20 times a day and you will go through withdrawals. You will notice that within the 6 hour morning from 6am to 12pm that the emails that matter are closer to 10am-12pm. Answer your emails and then return to your tasks. Check back in at 4pm. See how many emails come in since 12pm. It’s crazy how little that actually require immediate action. Set an auto respond email that states that you will be checking your email at the preferred times per day. When your auto response states “I’m checking email twice a day to be more productive in turn serving you better” people will respect that. If the matter requires immediate attention provide a contact phone number.

Reminder #1: Negligence on someones part does not constitute an emergency on your part. Your job isn’t to respond immediately and spend your days putting out fires constantly. If you respect your time and execution “usually” others will respect your structure.

Reminder #2: The inbox of life will NEVER be empty. People use their inbox as a to do list and this is a vicious cycle that is unrealistic. Once I accepted “it won’t ever be empty” my life free’d up. Set up structure and execute on your time and your terms. You will be a more productive individual and gain more focus. You’ll be shocked at what you accomplish in a day.

So, what did it do for me? I was already productive during the day but the moment I implemented this technique my productivity went into high gear. I couldn’t believe how few emails and notifications “really” mattered. Basically, I had to look at my time in the day and see what was really “fruitful” in my productivity.

How has email effected your productivity and your daily routine? I’d love to hear your thoughts on checking twice a day. What will you do with all this new found time? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you and thanks for being here!

I created www.noahuniversity.com which is an online mentorship program that helps individuals become more strategic and efficient with their time, talent and money. Over the course of the program, I share my 30 years of experience to help you build your story and products, marketing and social media platform as well as reach and nurture an audience. Click here to learn more.