Let’s face it, most of us solopreneurs spend a lot of time on email. In fact many people I talk to say they have “too much” email and that it hurts their productivity. Today, I’m proposing something radical for dealing with email. In fact, you might think it’s not even possible or that I’ve gone haywire!
Here it is, one of my key tools for handling my email effectively.
Check and clear your email inbox once a day.
Yes, that’s it, just once a day. Unless your solopreneur business is emergency services or is related to birth or death or you make money be responding quickly to situations (like a daytrader or board up service for damaged buildings) then you most likely don’t need to check your email more than once a day. I do use the email feature of my smart phone to take a couple of quick glances while standing in line or riding the stationary bike and if it’s a client I’ll respond right away. Barring that, I do one bulk processing of my email in the morning and don’t touch it the rest of the day. In fact, I even shut it down so I can’t see that oh-so-demanding little number count of unread emails that just begs for a peek.
My point in this post is not to say that my exact system will work for you, but to throw away the preconceived notions that you have about needing to always be available via email and figure out what works for you and how much you can stop doing. Constantly checking and responding to email is a huge time suck and will keep you from doing other work that supports your big vision. We often get the message that we need to respond quickly to emails in order to be successful in business and it seems to be the truth, so we don’t ever think about what is right for us. I’m sharing this today to give you encouragement to think outside of what you’ve been told. If I can get away from constant email, maybe you can too.
How often do you check your email? Is it constantly on? What could you do differently?