An empty inbox is never their goal
Email is a crucial factor in accomplishing your goals, but in and of itself, it isn’t meaningful. Sure, having zero unread messages gives you short-term satisfaction, but an empty inbox says nothing about your productivity. In fact, you’ll end up fighting a losing battle as it starts to refill immediately. Keep your focus on your important messages, and don’t stress if you don’t get to read every single email that comes your way. “If you can accept that it’s just not going to happen, you’ve taken the first step towards removing yourself from the productivity rat race,” writes Glei. “In the grand scheme of things, email is just one small part of doing great work.”
They start their day with more meaningful work
Checking your email first thing in the morning immediately frames your day around other people’s demands. Rather than heading straight for your unread messages, take advantage of the peak energy you have when you first get to the office by first working on your most meaningful tasks for at least an hour. Then, when you finally do open your inbox, you’ll already be well into a productive day.
They cut down on the back-and-forth
Streamline your emails by answering each message as fully as you can, so the receiver has less need to send follow-up questions. For instance, if a co-worker asks you to lunch, instead of reacting with a simple “Sure!” specify a date, time and location that work for you. Your colleague can give a simple yes or no, rather than stretching the conversation out for several more messages.