Email Habits are Killing Your Productivity, Here’s How to Fix It

It’s hard to imagine a world without email. A world without instant communication, file sharing, task transferring, and endless distractions. Although email has been one of the greatest things to happen for communication, it’s also one of the worse things that has happened for productivity.

If you’re one of the millions of people constantly checking their inbox and failing to focus on the important work in front of them, there are some changes you need to make. Below are three solutions that’s help you fix your bad email habits.

Add it to your calendar

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of time blocking. I time block everything from my lunch to my commutes, assignments, and everything in between. Time blocking has allowed me to stay focused and disciplined while I navigate the many tasks of being an entrepreneur, and email is no exception.

If you find it hard to focus on the important task at hand because you’re constantly checking your email for updates, responses, and assignments, you’ll never get anything done. Instead, pick a block of time (preferably at the end of your workday) to check and deal with your inbox. Trust me, your emails can wait until then.

Build boundaries

One of the biggest disadvantages of constantly checking your email is that you’re on everyone else’s time. You’re taking valuable time out of your day to cater to the needs of others in your inbox. That’s why building boundaries is essential to creating a healthy relationship with your email.

To build strong boundaries, you need to communicate with your community. Whether you’re planning on checking your email three times a day or only one, let your people know what to expect from you. A simple insert on your email signature can let your community know that you’ll get back to them soon, but if they need it sooner, they can reach you another way.

Block your browser

Browser extensions like Freedom, a Google Chrome browser extension, help you block certain web pages so you can focus on the work in front of you. Yes, like the Screen Time feature on the iPhone, Freedom helps you block any distracting websites from your browser. This is a great feature to take advantage of if you’re like me and automatically check email when you open any browser window.

Remember, that like any other bad habit, building a good relationship with your email is something that’ll take time getting used to. Give yourself time and patience to get used to your new routine and try not to feel guilty for not checking your inbox every five minutes. Don’t worry, all your emails will be there when you open it every evening.