Email Kills Productivity
In Laura Vanderkam’s book, 168 Hours, Laura recommends creating a time log over one week. I took her advice and tracked my every move for seven days. Overall, I was pretty good. I blocked off time for big projects, made time for my family and got some exercise. The problem - I checked email all the time.
I checked email during team meetings, with my family and while working on my big projects. I checked in between other tasks, during 1:1 meetings and while reading to my kids. The red Xs are the times I checked email. I’m actually being forgiving. The whole page should be red Xs.
I can’t multitask very well, but I do switch really well. But, all that switching kills productivity. Email makes you switch. Switch from an important project to a quick email check. Switch from a conversation to an email response. Switch from keeping your eyes on the road to reading email.
Here’s what I’ve done to focus.
- Scheduled time for email.
- Set up filters.
- Unsubscribed from all eNewsletters and other unwanted messages.
- Responded with quick replies.
- Stopped checking. Started creating something, relaxed, talked and lived.
How do you manage email?