I’m always asked – ‘how can I be more productive and get more things done?’ It’s a great question, but impossible to answer in one shot. Every one manages their time differently; what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. The good news is, you can definitely get more things done if you focus on this one area of how you are managing your time.

The McKinsey Global Institute found that the average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to email. That’s 28% of a typical 40-hour workweek.

What could you do with all these extra hours a week?

Here’s the truth – the amount of time spent checking emails and rechecking not only adds up to extra time wasted; but you are also losing additional time constantly by switching and changing your focus. Statistics also show that it takes 64 seconds to recover from an email and get back to the same focus as before; and then you are still no where further than you were when you checked it the previous time.

Cleary two huge downsides BUT here are two easy to implement solutions.

This is what you really want to be doing:

1. Control yourself:

Unless you absolutely have to be responding to emails every 30 minutes because this supports your core function, why are you doing it? Seriously? Stop! It’s a bad habit and the more you do it, the more you reinforce it – making it harder to shift later on. Just this alone – will add up to significant amounts of time saved.

If you find the thought of not checking your email every minute quite scary – I’d invite you to explore why. If it adds nothing immediately to your work done, what is it adding?

Do you get certainty knowing you are on top of everything by constantly checking?
Are you really half focused on what you are doing and checking your email gives you a bit of variety?
Or does checking your email make you feel connected, do you have a fear of missing out?

You want to understand what is driving your behavior so you can detach yourself from it and make better choices.

2. Transform your emails into an organized task list:

Take your email and task them, doing this immediately will save you hours because you are not rechecking and rereading our email, but taking action on each one. Think of emails as a task – you are either going to do something about the email, you are doing something now or you have done something. Taking your emails and immediately organizing them into tasks is the way you want to go if you want to eliminate your time thieves.

Google is clearly the most common platform for email, and understandably so, especially with all the free tools and apps which allow you to effortlessly be more organized and increase your productivity fairly easily.

And the best new addition to google – Drag – Googles Chrome Extension – helping you organize your emails into tasks.

See below…..


Take your email and drop it into the folder of tasks – do, doing or done. This will help you to easily organize your tasks and reduce any overwhelm. Did you know that your mind gets overwhelmed by visually seeing more than 8 items of things to do? Imagine an inbox with hundreds of emails!

If you can take control of checking your emails and also then turning your emails directly into tasks, you will not only get things done in a more effective, fast and efficient way, but you will achieve much more in the same time and therefore, reach your goals and objectives sooner – in the most productive way.

The best way to start managing your time and productivity more effectively – is the same way you would approach any big task – chunk it down and tackle it one by one.

There are a so many apps available to help you increase your productivity,  we all have 24 hours a day, how effective are you at making the most of yours?

To your success!

Kirstin ODonovan

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