I don’t like new years resolutions. I already broke two of them in less than a week. Maybe I should try harder? Nah I think I’ll just find some better resolutions!
I’d rather develop new habits, because thats the way to be successful in the long run. Since it’s tough to break old habits and start new ones, I’m keeping it simple for now.
My new habit is: only checking my email twice each day. That’s right twice; 12pm and 4pm (Credit goes to Tim Ferriss in the Four Hour Work Week for this idea, amazing book). I used to live in my inboxes like a hibernating grizzly cub, but I woke up and left the den. The best part about this new habit is that I don’t get distracted by having my brain scrambled every time I get a new email. I don’t push emails to my phone any more, I check them manually, twice a day. Since I spend less time in my inbox, I rarely get a new email (or two or three!) the moment after I just replied to one. I hate that! If something is threat-level-organge-or-higher important, people can call me. I chose 12 and 4 since messages from the previous evening and that morning accumulate by lunch time. By 4, people have mostly replied to the emails I sent out around noon.
My system has been humming along for a week now and I’m not going back. If you’ve got a job that doesn’t require you to hibernate in your inbox, give this a shot. Every time I’m tempted to check my mail on my phone I enjoy the moment instead. I’ve got 99 problems but email ain’t one.