Update: Revised on 2/7/15 from 3 hacks to 4 hacks!
If you check your email every 5 minutes, I’ve got news for you: this not the best way to get things done, and it may be adding a lot of needless working hours to your day.
Unless your primary responsibility is “respond to any and all email,” or there’s a mission critical contract out that needs to get signed, or your project management solution has completely failed and there is absolutely no other way to get a hold of you, I would suggest another approach.
Email is, after all, asynchronous communication. It’s not a chatroom, it’s not a project management tool, and it won’t substitute for talking to someone on the phone or in person. It can also wreak havoc on brain-intensive tasks (28% of your time could be wasted by interruption).
Like any tool, there are efficient and not so efficient ways to use email. Here are a few game-changing productivity hacks, some I’ve been doing for years and a couple game-changers I’ve implemented just recently: