Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Using your email the right way – your key to productivity

Using your email the right way - your key to productivity


Email is a primary channel of communication for most people nowadays. Not dealing with it the right way, however, can lead to the exact opposite effect – a loaded email box and a more annoyed you. I can almost see you pulling your hair due to your inability to keep up with a full mailbox that threatens to bury you under an avalanche of incoming emails.

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts on how to use your email to get more productive and finally start getting shit things done:

DON’T check your email too often (e.g. every hour)
This is not advisable as it may (and will) negatively affect the quality of your work. There’s really no need to distract yourself from what you’re doing by checking your email too often. The easiest way to boost your productivity through email is to… just forget about it. Literally. Limit your email checks to twice a day (when you start work and about an hour before the end of the work day) and focus on more important things in between.

DO empty your inbox on a regular basis
There’s almost nothing as annoying and depressing as a full inbox on a Monday morning, don’t you think? Emptying your inbox is one of the smartest steps towards better email management. It not only gives you a sense of accomplishment but also frees space both in your inbox and in your mind. There are numerous tools out there (depending on the email service you are using) that can help you better organize your mailbox. Create folders, flag, star, mark away… anything that will help you see that “Your inbox is empty” sign is more than welcome!

DON’T assume all emails are equally important!
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize… You and I both know that some emails don’t need your immediate attention without you having to open them first. Why do you do it then? Don’t you have enough work already? Just move it to a folder, forget about it or even erase it.

DO use your email wisely
Think of the best ways to incorporate email into your workflow. For example, if you want to ask an important question, simply send the recipient an empty email and include your question in the Subject field (thus it is easily visible by the recipient without them having to open the email). Or, create a separate folder called “To-do list” and send all those “emails to self” there instead of keeping them in your inbox, where all they do is just stay in the way of real emails that require a certain action. Just find your way to better email management through trial and error and hold on tight to what works best for you!