Not Now, Email

Flooded by emails

Procrastination is vastly different from owning your time. Not every task can (or should) be done straight away.

When an email comes in, it tries to bite into my time. Some emails are real time sinks. Those lead into forms or tasks I would have to perform to address them. If I actioned them all as they came in, it would seriously skew my daily routine.

I prefer to own my time. There’s a better time to address this email. Maybe it’s after work. Maybe it’s over the weekend. I usually skim through the email to determine the best time to address it.

I have a few rules of thumb when deciding when to address an email.

If it’s urgent, I may address it straight away. If it’s important to me, but can wait a little bit, I schedule it to after work. If it isn’t all that important, I schedule it to the weekend. Maybe it’s an article I want to read. Some emails relate to an event coming at a certain date. I tend to schedule those closer to the event.

Most emails have a natural time they should be read at. With some exercise, finding that time becomes second nature.

Gmail has a nifty feature you can find in its top tool bar. It allows you to schedule an email to a future date. This is pretty much the same as changing when the email came in to match YOUR schedule.

I can’t stress enough how valuable this feature can be in managing your time. Note how no email is postponed to a random future time. This isn’t about procrastination. Your time is precious. YOU should own it.

Published by eranboudjnah

A software consultant and tech lead. Passionate about optimizing as many aspects of my life as possible, to free time for what really matters.

2 thoughts on “Not Now, Email

  1. Great article. I also like the star system that Gmail has. I colour code emails with a different star for urgent things, things that are on my to-do list, things that I’m waiting on a response for and things that are just for info (like articles).

    Liked by 2 people

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