Step away in the a.m. “Establish your day’s top priorities” before ever opening your inbox. Begin with creative or urgent work first, mail second.
Give it time. Don’t leap to answer every time you hear a new e-mail arrive. “Better yet, turn off the alert sound.” If you must check your inbox regularly, choose as long an interval as possible—try two hours.
Wait to respond, especially to mass e-mails. Ask yourself, “Does everybody really need to weigh in?” Often, interoffice e-mails “generate more work for everyone.”
Single-task. To avoid mistakes, give your full attention to incoming and outgoing messages. “Don’t e-mail while doing something else.”
Lie about your whereabouts. E-mail systems allow you to “create an outgoing message that says you’re out of the office.” You can also use it when you’re in the office and just “need an e-mail break.”
Source: O magazine
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week