Getting Things Done | Productivity

How To Handle Your Morning Email

How To Handle Your Morning Email


NO email in the morning is a good idea

  • Because answering and managing email often requires a lot of time and mental energy (thus takes you away from creating, developing, and shipping new stuff), it’s usually best to put off taking care of it until you’ve completed something significant first

NO email in the morning is a bad idea

  • The reality is that we live in a world where delays in responding to an email can cost time, money, and resources – sometimes in a big way

Here’s a more balanced approach

  • Here’s a simple 6-step process that’s a good compromiseHow_To_Handle_Your_Morning_Email

  • Depending on how many emails you receive, this can often take less than 5-10 minutes:

    1. Do a quick scan of your emails first thing in the morning

    2. Respond to URGENT emails only – those that require a response as soon as possible

    3. Delete what’s junk

    4. Archive what needs to be archived

    5. Do something significant

    6. Come back after completing doing something significant and work in your inbox for a while (or save it for later)

In a nutshell…


  • Open your inbox right now and do a practice run of the process described above
  • Use the process described for the next 7 days to see if it enables you to manage important emails without getting sucked into doing more. If it does – stick with it. If you just can’t help but stay in your inbox once you’re there, then not checking your email at all in the morning may be a better option.

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