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I like this simple time management tip… and a few more…

Try this some time. When in your email in-box next time, press the shift key and highlightEmail every email by clicking on the first and then the last email with your mouse. Then press the delete key. It's magic! Everyone of them disappear. You now have more hours to do other things.

Okay, please don't write me and tell me this is stupid, or would be stupid. I know, I know. However, think about it. For most of us, if an email is that important, it will be sent again. And the rest, probably not that important any way.

I wonder how much real productivity is lost due to email every day. I've heard it said that our brains need at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time before we can begin to focus and get into a zone. How often do you check your email in an hours time? Do you get sucked into its enticing grip several times an hour or more? Well, if that is the case, here are some serious tips.

1) Schedule email time. For some this means they will only check email at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM. Some of you may need to schedule more frequently. But I would suggest that checking email more than four times a day is too much.

2) Un-subscribe from lists. Seems like a "no brain-er," but how many lists are you on? And my guess would be that you read very few emails from the majority of those lists? So delete them.

3) Pick up the phone. Don't get sucked into a string of emails that attempt to clarify, persuade and debate, simply pick up the phone and make a call.

4) Turn off auto-checking for new messages. Better yet, shut down your email program during non-scheduled times.

5) Never read a message twice. Open them, do something with them and be done with them.

Most email is unproductive email; email that demands your time, but accomplishes very little. Maybe there is wisdom in using the delete all method occasionally. What do you think?

For more time management tips go to "Time Management" in our category section. Click here.

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Mike Rogers