If you are one of those people who start the work day by checking e-mail, you might want to think again. E-mail might well be the most popular form of communication in the business world today, but if you let it rule your life, it can also be one of the most distracting.
Planning your workday so that you manage to squeeze in as much as possible relies on being able to prioritize your various tasks so that the most important, rather than the most urgent, are dealt with first. When you open up e-mail first thing though, often you will find yourself faced with numerous communications that claim to require urgent responses although they may not figure high on your list in terms of importance. These messages can act as a powerful distraction, causing you to fall behind before you have even really gotten started. In addition, if you stay signed in to your e-mail account throughout the course of the day and pick up new messages as they arrive, the constant interruptions can mean that you get little else done.
Always set a specific time for dealing with e-mails, preferably at the end of the day, and stay signed out of your account the rest of the time. After all, if something really is that urgent, people can always get hold of you in other ways.