We each get exactly 168 hours every week. No scientist or philosopher or great individual of the past has ever gotten more. In today’s world we can get bombarded with interruptions from every side and before you realize it your day then week then year is gone and you can not even remember what you had yesterday for lunch. I hope you guard your time because it is a precious commodity I have gathered a few ideas below that may help keep the guard up.
Get away. You must take time for yourself. If you will take one hour per week to plan the next week you will save a day in trying to figure out what to do next How to delete a labels in gmail . I do not use a day planner to keep time down to the fifteen minute block. I do have a 3X5 card my to-do list for that day only written on it. Remember it this way: one week per year, one day per month, one hour per week and fifteen minute per day. If you take these times to plan your life and set goals you will be more successful than 95% of Americans.
If possible put yourself on an information diet. I know this sounds harsh but try to only check your email twice to three times per day. (If you are still reading thanks) If you think about it your email reading and sometimes rereading takes up significant amounts of your time. On my website I tell people that I only check my email in the morning and in the evening so the know that when they send me mail it will not get answered right away. In the last week I have even turned off the auto check feature so if I am at the computer I will not even see that mail has come in.
Move to online mail such as Gmail or Yahoo mail or the new windows live which uses Hotmail and forward or set up your online mail to check your work and personal mailboxes. Once you have moved the convenience is that you can check mail from anywhere in the world. If you set up filters for your incoming emails you will know which ones to check and what can wait until later or never at all. (Your can do this with windows outlook also but online is much faster and we will all be there eventually) If you use Firefox as a web browser there is a Getting Things Done (GTD) add on for Gmail so you can label your mail as it comes in and then act later.
When you do check your email do it quickly and efficiently. If it is trash then trash it. If it needs a response respond immediately so you don’t stick yourself with trying to answer all of your email two days after you have received it and then you are bogged down for two hours trying to catch up. Steven Covey says in his book Focus that we should either a) file it; b) act on it; or c) DELETE IT, in my opinion most mail goes in this category.