I love the story from Peter Bregman’s post Coping With Email Overload and how he dealt with an entire week’s worth of email in three hours and yet normally he spends an entire week doing email. It is such an illusive thing.
I continue to look for a way or a system to implement like Bregman describes. It’s a constant battle. I find that so much of my work IS in email and that makes it really difficult to just shut it off and ignore it and “do work.”
Going offline for periods of time is a definite help, but then I find myself needing to go back online all the time to get email sent so that I can keep projects moving and put the ball back in other people’s court. I reason that the longer my email goes unsent the longer until I get the response I need so it’s best to just go online immediately and get that message sent out. I also secretly hope that the person I’m sending to breaks all rules of email discipline and replies back to me right away.
So what is the solution? I really haven’t found one for myself that I can count on. Some days my discipline and willpower are better than others. Perhaps it is a muscle that needs to be trained or maybe as Bregman suggests, there’s something else going on for me I need to get in touch with.
Do you have any different techniques you’ve found that work?