Are you ready to read your email? Are you ready to handle the Inbox? Are you ready to make a decision about each email? If you answered “Yes” to these three questions, then you might be ready. If you didn’t answer “Yes,” then you shouldn’t be going to your Inbox. This begs the question “Why are you going to your email?” Are you going to your Inbox because you heard the beep, saw the mail icon pop up, or someone on IM told you to check your mail? All of these are completely the wrong reasons for you to be checking your mail.
Every day you should practice the habit of ONLY going to your Inbox when you are ready- not when something or someone else wants you to be ready. If you’re not ready, you will not fully focus on handling ALL of your recently received emails. This then means you will assuredly skim over most of your Inbox, not make good decisions about handling each email and at least taking each email one step toward completion, and discover you are handling most emails at least two or three times before you really do something with them.
Do you really have time to do double or triple work? Do you really have time to be interrupted by the bad work habits of coworkers? Didn’t think so. Go to email when you’re ready. Go to email when you’re ready to read each email – one at a time – and make a good business decision about each one.
Go to email on your preferred time. Determine how many times each day you need to go to your Inbox, based on your approximate daily email volume. I promise you if you follow these concepts, you will recapture 20-30 minutes daily, everyday to complete more of the “right work.”