Q. I'm addicted to checking my email constantly and I can't get anything else done during my day. How can I use my time better and still stay connected?
A. At the end of the day, do you look at your "to do" list and wonder why nothing has been completed? Checking your emails excessively and responding immediately could be the culprit. This habit is an interruption in your work flow and can distract you from focusing on your current tasks.
Here are a few ideas to help you to better manage your time and your inbox:
1.) If you are starting your day with a "to do" list (and we all do) ; refrain from checking your email first thing in the morning. Rather, schedule time later in the morning, mid afternoon and at the end of the day to peruse your inbox.
2.) During the designated time you set aside to work on your "to do" list, consider turning off any auditory or visual notifications to avoid the distraction of what's happening with your inbox.
3.) When you do check your inbox, go through the emails and sort into various action folders. For example, some emails are read only, others are read and respond later, immediate response or can be deleted right away.
4.) Consider keeping your inbox limited to those emails that require an immediate response. Once you have answered an email put it in an appropriate labeled folder or delete.
5.) When answering emails- keep them brief and to the point. If the email is getting lengthy and for only one person, perhaps a phone call would be a better use of your time.
When utilized correctly, email is a great time saver. Forming some new disciplines when addressing emails may be all that is required to keep you connected and still be productive elsewhere in your life.
Getting your Life in Order!