Why I only check email once daily?

*Bling*, email, need to check. I will quit everything I’m doing right now to see what that email is all about. I have to do it now, RIGHT NOW, IT MIGHT BE VERY IMPORANT!

InboxWe’ve all been there. It is the biggest time waster of all time in a working environment. Just by getting interrupted on a task might take as long as 45 minutes to get you back on track. Just for two minutes’ quickie. It’s not worth it.

I noticed it about three years ago that a lot of my time was going to emails and I actually wasn’t getting anything done except email. I disabled all the audible alerts, visual alerts and auto send/receive and started to check email after I had finished my first big task of the day. Then I’d check it every 30 minutes. This already had a huge impact - not checking it first thing in the morning. And after that I had 30 minutes of uninterrupted time (if nothing else came between) to clear my to do list in between the times. Huge improvement.

Next I made it every hour. I got even more done. I could now do the tasks that used to feel impossible because they would take more than 20 minutes to complete and would require concentration. Eventually I got to two times daily. Before lunch and before leaving office. I worked with that for a long time and it worked perfectly.

Now, I’m down to once daily. And believe me, none of my colleagues dare do the same. For them it’s too important. It’s not. It’s a culture shift to being more productive and people know that. They just don’t dare to take the bold step towards efficiency and effectiveness.

Take the first step, don’t check your email first thing in the morning. Do your big task first thing in the morning and then if you get nothing else done you’ve accomplished at least something. Not a bad day’s work.

Posted 2 years ago with tags email gtd habit office productivity Rauno's Blog