I like to develop efficient routine.  You can work hard or work smart.  And being busy does not mean that you are productive.  As this article for the Time Management Ninja says:


You Were Busy Yesterday, But Were You Productive?


The article lists 5 Signs That You Are Busy But Not Productive.  The list includes being stuck in your email all day.  We all have those days when we just seem to be receiving way too many emails.  Yet, we have the urge to read each of them within 5 minutes of receiving them.  And if it requires a response, then we drop everything to make the new email of the moment the top priority.


And I am not commenting on those useless emails that we receive.  Why so many persons think that their communication should be sent to so many persons?  I don’t know…


Let’s develop good work habits regarding email. Among others, here are a few:

  • Prioritize work in the morning.  Do in the morning the most important task that you have to do.  Focus the first three hours of the day on this task.  Do not prioritize email.  Prioritize work.  Let’s not do the busy task when we have the most energy, and the most important task when we are tired.


  • Close the email program. While you work on a specific task, close the email program.  Do not let new email distract you from productive work.


  • Focus on results. Your clients do not want you to respond within 5 minutes.  They want results.  They may appreciate the attention of the quick response, but they still mostly want results.  If you respond to clients, or colleagues, within 2-3 hours, you are still professional and provide excellent service.


  • Unsubscribe: it is nice with the internet that we access easily all kind of information, register to blog, email list, newsletter.  However, if we subscribe to more source of information than what we can actually use, it reduces our productivity.  It clutters our inbox, and then we waste time processing them (which often just mean later deleting them).  Identify your goals, then focus, focus and focus.  And unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe.

On the last one, focus is a very powerful tool for success.  You can also look at this post.