This post is part of the series The Best Tools and Techniques for Winning at Business and Life

We all have a love/hate relationship with email, except maybe without the love. Yes, email is terrible, but it’s part of life so we may as well deal with it in this guide. I recommend looking at email at least once per day and no more often than three or four times per day, depending on the length of your work day. If you’re an eight-to-fiver, twice is plenty. If you run from five am to midnight, you may need to deal with email as many as four times a day.

The Habit

Check sometime in the morning. Schedule it AROUND your big rocks. Give it anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes and get through it then. If you have more email than you can read in that amount of time, make use of rules, filters, and assistants to get you through the list every single time.

Do Inbox Zero. Delete, delegate, do, defer.

Delete what needn’t be there (and unsubscribe, rule, or filter it away from your inbox forever).

Delegate what must be done, but not by you, and schedule time to train involved parties on how to do the work, and how not to involve you. Empowering others is one of the qualities of highly effective professionals.

Do what must be done. Do it right now.

Defer what can’t be done now. Sparingly, you may need to schedule some things for a later time. Put them on your calendar or todo list, and get them out of your inbox.

Inbox Zero http://www.43folders.com/izero

David Allen’s Getting Things Done http://gettingthingsdone.com/

The Tools

How To Make More Effective Use of Your Office Productivity Software

Shrink the Window and Shrink the Energy

 

Next Page: Weekly Review and Planning

This post is part of the series The Best Tools and Techniques for Winning at Business and Life

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