Modern communication and email in particular is an amazing tool allowing us to get things done in a fraction of the time, working when suits us best. However, it is also a seriously difficult beast to tame and in a few short years has mesmerized most of us in to working longer and less efficiently, reducing our “downtime” to worryingly low levels.


How much of my day?!

It is well worth thinking about how you want to use email, both as an individual and as an organisation.  I’ve attached a link below to give you a number of specific points to consider, but before you launch in to the detail, it’s worth making the point that this isn’t a trivial, “work slightly more efficiently” thing.  If you were to keep a stopwatch to hand in order to measure the amount of time you spent on email, what would it add up to be?  15% of your working week? 25%?  More?

What about how many times would you check your email?  10 times a week?  10 times a day?  Far more?! Bear in mind that every time you see unread emails, your amygdala flags “battle stations” to the rest of your brain due to all the unfinished bits of work that are still swirling around your head. This keeps those stress levels topped up and makes it just that little bit harder to concentrate on the job in hand. Isn’t it worth investing a few minutes in order to update your working practices and make life just that little bit easier for yourself?


Click this link for Twenty Practical Steps to bring email under control


When confronted by a wall of email to deal with, it might well be worth keeping David Allen’s 4D’s to mind (from the classic “Getting Things Done”).  Namely Delete, Do, Delegate, Defer.  Although I often see these 4 referred to in a number of different orders – the order quoted here is really important.


Click on this link for The 4Ds of Time Management