Accounting for Email in Your Calendar is a Necessity

May 6, 2020

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2.6 hours every day.

That’s how long the average American spends on email, according to McKinsey.

But very few of us account for that when planning our days.

Instead, many of us book ourselves up with meetings, calls and plans to grind through our to-do lists.

But then the to-do list gets bumped by the emails zinging into our inbox, which seem urgent.

So, we end our day having done a lot in terms of meetings, calls and emails – but not the real, focused work.

And that real, focused work gets pushed into night and weekends.

No bueno.

Here are some tips:

Account for email time. You don’t need to block a solid 2.6 hours in your calendar. Just pick an amount of time that makes sense to you. If you get a ton of email, I recommend a solid hour in your day to process it around 3pm.

Turn off your phone and desktop email notifications. You’ll likely be back in your email inbox soon to dig up some info you need, so you’ll scan it frequently enough. Plus, if it’s a true emergency, they’ll call.

I’m not going to tell you not to go into your email inbox the rest of the day or only go in 3 times a day. We go in all the time for info we need, for emails we need to send on projects we’re working on, etc. All I want you to do is ask, “is this a fire or can it wait until my 3pm email process time?” If it can wait, let it wait.

Really plan out how YOU want to spend your time. This is a whole method I teach, but getting clear on how YOU want to spend your work hours will make you better at evaluating whether an email screaming “fire!” is in fact a fire deserving of your time right now. ⠀

I cover work-hour interrupters like email, meetings and phone calls in my client programs. If you want to learn how to protect focused work time during work hours so you’re not consistently playing catch up at night and on weekends, let’s chat. Click here to learn more about working together.

We can’t control everything, but we can control more than we realize. I’d love to show you how.⠀

And if you love these tips, you’ll love my mini-course on reclaiming control of your email inbox. Learn more here!

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