For many of us, email is a bad habit, a time killing addiction. We check it on our phones, our tablets, our computers at work and at home. We too often stop what we’re working on to get our email fix.
Don’t play Email Russian Roulette with your work time.
‘I’ll quickly check my email. Then I’ll get started on that important task.’
BANG – ‘I can’t start that important task yet. I need to reply to this email.’
We’re addicted to looking. Our brains love variety, but productivity demands focus and discipline. We’re addicted to the distraction of email. We know what’s on our to do list. We don’t know what’s in our inbox until we look. When you have important tasks to complete, don’t check your email.
Time Killing Bullet
Every time you check your email when you should be doing something else, remember that you’re playing Email Russian Roulette with your time. With each email you open, you are getting closer and closer to having your time shot by that time killing bullet.
Typical Email Russian Roulette
Email 1 – colleague cc’d me for info
Email 2 – email newsletter I subscribed to
Email 3 – continuation of a low priority email conversation
BANG Email that needs action.
Your time management is dead. Your productivity has been shot by the time killing email bullet. Whether or not that time killing email bullet is urgent, it seems urgent compared to the other emails. It’s usually not. It’s just more exciting than your planned priorities, so your priorities get pushed aside.
Protect your Time
We need email. You’re going to have to play email Russian Roulette. There’s always a time killing email bullet in your inbox waiting for you to pull the trigger.
Take control of your day by putting on your time killing bullet proof vest.
Protect your time by only checking your emails at scheduled times during the day. This sounds simple, but it’s so hard to do. You will fail frequently. Ask yourself, ‘is what I’m doing really urgent?’ If not, set up a reminder to go back to this email and move back to your priorities.
Be aware of when you start playing Email Russian Roulette with your time throughout the day.