Managing the Email Flood
What’s one key way to boost your productivity? Limit the amount of time you spend on email. Over the past twenty years, email has risen from workplace curiosity to essential tool, available not only through one’s PC but also a plethora of mobile devices (and now, even smartwatches). Its ubiquity, however, ends up trapping many workers in a seemingly endless cycle of responding to messages throughout the day, preventing them from tackling actual work. So what’s the solution? Some tech companies are already figuring out how to revamp email in ways that will free up your productivity. Google Inbox, for example, allows users to “snooze” messages for later, surface relevant data, and bundle emails. Spark tries to automatically prioritize emails, freeing up time. For those who don’t think an app will necessarily help manage their message load, there’s another, potentially easier solution: Schedule strict email time. Whereas many of us feel compelled to answer (or at least scan) every email that pings into our box at any given moment, email schedulers reserve a set time each day to answer messages, whether an hour in the morning, or preset 20-minute increments. By scheduling specific instances to answer email (and sticking to that timetable), you can free up more distraction-free time to tackle your day’s larger tasks.