Your Time is Valuable, Stop Constantly Checking your Email

How many times a day do you check your email? You may think there’s no way around it—that because of your environment or the type of work you do, you HAVE to check your email constantly. But in so doing, are you making the most effective use of your time?

If you are (somewhat) obsessive compulsive about checking emails, have a look at this guide, a light and funny decision tree by Wendy MacNaughton.

Should I Check My Email

Turn off triggers

If you are a Blackberry user, change the settings on your phone so the red flashing light does not go on every time mail comes through. If you have an iPhone, turn the sound off. In front of your computer? Turn off the setting that has the distracting pop-up message when an email comes in. We are prone to react to triggers; if we eliminate them, we’ll be less likely to react. I challenge you to try this.

Set time aside specifically to check and write emails

You only have so much time in a day to get things done. Scheduling in time specifically to send and receive emails can really help. Instead of continuously being on the lookout for incoming mail, check your inbox every other hour, or every hour, and insert slots into your calendar as a reminder. Then gage how much more you accomplish by doing so.

Remind yourself that your time is valuable

By continuously checking email, you give value and priority to someone else’s agenda and time over your own. Your time is valuable, isn’t it? So own it.

What are your tricks for being effective with your time and not getting distracted by emails?