Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Should You Block Out Specific Time to Answer Emails?

It’s hard to imagine a day of work without a single email. In fact, it’s probably impossible to conduct a normal day of work without having to stop and respond to a question from a colleague, a problem from a client, or a new business opportunity that presents itself. While it’s completely amazing that we live in a time where we can all reach other at any given moment throughout the day without having to employ the services of another person (or a carrier pigeon), it can also be completely distracting. It also leads to us not having the ability to shut work off—a luxury that used to exist before the age of the internet.

So, how do you deal with this issue of email constantly popping up? Is it best to answer them when you have time or when really urgent emails need to be answered?

Some people advocate for blocking out specific time to answer emails in order to create less distraction and more productivity throughout the day.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering blocking out specific time to answer all your emails.

Don’t Do it First Thing in the Morning

This might feel controversial, but it’s actually not a great plan to check your emails first thing in the morning. It’s harder to get started on the tasks that you really wanted to get accomplished if you spend the first couple of hours of your day responding to emails. In fact, experts say that the best time to check your emails is between the hours of 12 and 4 p.m.

So, unless there’s something urgent that you’re waiting on from a client or a colleague, delay that email check.

Don’t Check Emails at Night Either

Now that you know it’s not great for you to be checking your email at the very beginning of the day, you should also know that checking your emails late in the day (particularly after hours) is also not a great idea either. Looking at any kind of screen before you head off to bed isn’t good for restful sleep and checking work emails can often lead to a restless night—especially if there’s a looming project on your mind.

Block Out 20 Minute Intervals

The best way to check your emails, experts say, is to check your email in 20-minute increments. Set a timer, do a quick read through and answer any pressing questions, and then close out your tab so that you can get back to your regular tasks.

Hiring an assistant to help you with administrative tasks is a great solution to help you be more productive and will give you the flexibility to leave work on time, grow your business, and do some truly innovative things in your field.

photo credit: Bernard Spragg

Posted on October 5th, 2018 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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