The other day, I found myself stressed to the max because my email inbox kept piling up. I was checking it all the time, and fearing the overwhelming build-up of messages.
Then I stopped myself, because I realized the urgency was entirely in my head. In order to reality check the situation, I asked myself five questions. I’ve shared the questions and my answers below.
1. How many emails do I receive per day? Approximately 100.
2. Out of 50 emails you receive, how many do I actually need to read? Approximately 15.
3. Out of 50 emails you receive, how many do I need to respond to? Approximately five.
4. How often does an urgent request come through email? One per month, tops.
5. How quickly do I need to respond to an urgent email? Within one business day.
So, with a little discipline, I could choose to look at my email once every 24 hours and my activity would consist of deleting 70 emails, reading 30, and responding to 10. Probably a total of 25 minutes of activity.
Can these questions help you, too?
Leslie Kasanoff says
I think this is a good start for most of us. It’s easy to sucked into the email urgency thing. There’s another biz consultant online whose newsletters I was getting for a while who who says that the definition of your box is “a convenient organizing system for OTHER people’s agendas! He also advocates doing your most important tasks in the morning BEFORE you even look at your email & then scanning your email specifically for people you are waiting to hear from & only dealing with those until ALL your other work is completed.