How to Reduce Time You Spend on Email

It’s summer. The days are heating up and distant shores beckon.

But after a week or two away from the office – or even just a few days – with the relief of some time off and not having to be a slave to your email inbox, it can be quite a shock to return to work and find that you’re playing catchup, once again overwhelmed by too many emails.

How are you going to deal with this?


If you struggle to find time to get past email to your real work after a holiday, you’re not alone. People at all levels experience similar issues.

One of the challenges with email is that replies can take a while to draft, meanwhile more email comes in as you’re drafting them – resulting in continuous inbox overflow for those who receive a lot of it.

You can do something about it.

For a longer term solution, have a look at our Get Your Inbox to Zero online course, but for starters, try this suggestion from Five Sentences: treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, count sentences instead.

They say “ is a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be five sentences or less. It’s that simple.”

Putting in place a few simple strategies like this will save time, reduce stress and increase your focus.

By doing something different with email, and learning new ways to manage email and practising new behaviours, you can change how you feel, and what you believe, about your work.

You never know, you might look forward to coming back to work again.

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