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25. Disciplined Email Triage

Email is a ubiquitous workplace communication medium. And the inbox never stops filling up. To maximize productivity, it’s important to have the right mindset when you check your email.

The goal is not to read or reply to emails, the goal is to “triage your inbox.” Here’s the process (and it goes in this order):

(1) Delete emails you don’t need.

(2) Move FYI emails to appropriate folders.

(3) Answer any emails that only need a one-sentence response.

(4) Tag emails that need more than a one-sentence response to be addressed during deep-thinking time.

Too many of us go straight to #4 when we check our email, but we don’t have the time or space to craft an appropriate response. Instead, triage your inbox and make time for the important emails during designated time frames.


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