The Best Time Of The Day To Check Your Emails

The Best Time Of The Day To Check Your Emails
SHARE
THIS



Bombarded by too many emails? Are the the little buggers taking up more of your time than they effectively should? Well, let Inventium founder and B&T regular Dr Amantha Imber (pictured below) pass on her sage words on tackling your electronic mail avalanche…

I have a confession to make. I love checking email. I love how productive I feel smashing through hundreds of emails in a single hour. I feel efficient. I feel like I am getting things done.
Amantha Imber 8

But here is the thing – I used to be an email addict. I used to check email constantly throughout the day. It would happen when I was writing an article and I had reached a stuck point. It would happen when I was waiting in line for a coffee. It would happen when I would be out for dinner with my husband.

While you might scoff while reading this, I know I am not alone. Research published in Harvard Business Review revealed that 60 per cent of workers spent less than two hours per day disconnected from email. And one in five people spent less than 30 minutes disconnected.

Now, email gets a bad rap. People complain that email is the biggest drain on their productivity. And certainly, it used to be a big drain on my productivity. But it’s only bad because of the mindless way most people approach their inbox. Instead of checking email willy-nilly throughout the day, we need to approach our inbox strategically. We need to utilise our inbox for its strengths, not its weaknesses.

The best thing about our inbox, which can equally be seen as the worst thing, is that once we enter it, the reward centre in our brain is lighting up like crazy. Because of the inbuilt addictive design of email-checking (the random presentation of good, or at least interesting, ‘bits’ of news), for most people it is energising and gives us a dopamine hit. We feel super productive responding, and then deleting or archiving, emails, and it generally doesn’t require much brain power. Which means email is the ideal activity for when your brain is at its least sharp (early-mid afternoon).

As a psychologist, understanding the psychology behind the addictive nature of email helped me overcome my addiction. I also deleted the email app from my phone which helped a lot too.

I now keep my email closed until lunchtime, or until I have completed my most important tasks for the day. But on an ideal day, I wait until around 2pm to check my inbox because its an effective way to re-energise myself from a post-lunch dip.

This is how to apply the 2pm email re-energiser:

  • Block out 30 minutes in your diary at 2pm. Call the calendar appointment “Meeting with Inbox”.
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes. If you skip this step, it’s too easy to get sucked into the email vortex, only to escape several hours later.
  • Try to avoid taking a sneaky look in your inbox for at least the previous two hours (although ideally, you have lasted the morning without any checks of your inbox). The more surprises that await you, the better.
  • Open up your email. Most likely, you have a lovely, full inbox.
  • Conquer the quick wins. Spend a couple of minutes deleting all subscriptions and emails you were cc-ed on but didn’t actually need to be cc-ed or bcc-ed on. You’ll trigger the reward centre of your brain through making a tonne of progress in a short space of time.
  • Next, start to reply to the emails where you can have the biggest impact.
  • When your timer goes off, close your inbox. Everything else can wait until later.
  • Repeat later in the afternoon if you need another pick-me-up.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Dr Amantha Imber emails

Latest News

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom
  • Technology

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom

Twitter has just experienced its fastest growth in revenue since 2014, with the social media platform benefiting from increased interest from advertisers. Revenue was up 74 per cent YoY, according to the company’s Q2 results, reaching $US1.19 billion ($1.6 billion) from $US683.4 million ($925 million) 12 months ago. The strong results came in the same […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey

Wild Turkey has announced the launch of its new global creative campaign and platform, ‘Trust Your Spirit’, featuring the brand’s creative director and spokesperson, Matthew McConaughey. The global campaign and platform ‘Trust Your Spirit’ is to encourage people to be bold, unapologetically themselves, and stay true to who they are. The global tagline and ethos […]

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign

Telecommunications company Optus has announced it will launch the world’s first TikTok sign-language activated filter. Featuring Optus ambassador Ian Thorpe, Optus will unveil a branded effect that shows TikTok users how to say key phrases in Auslan sign language, including ‘How are you?’ and ‘It starts with Yes’, through the hashtag challenge #SignYes. Optus will […]

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF
  • Campaigns

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF

Asia Pacific’s leading provider of vehicle parts, accessories, equipment, service and solutions, Bapcor will launch its latest campaign, ‘The unseen parts of every Australian journey’ this weekend.

Professional microphone in radio studio
  • Advertising
  • Media

Podsight’s Benchmark Report Shows Podcast Advertising More Effective Than Other Digital Channels

Podsights has revealed new insights into the effectiveness of advertising in podcasts, tracking global and Australian podcast advertising trends. This is the first Australian report to be published since ARN partnered with Podsights to set the standard for best-in-class podcast advertising measurement. The report includes additional analysis and follows a series of Measurement Masterclasses held for […]

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life
  • Campaigns

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life

NGEN’s 2021 charity cup has raised over $175,000 for UnLtd charity partner Gotcha4Life. Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation raising awareness and funding to provide educational workshops and innovative programs that build mental fitness in individuals and communities. While Sydney and Brisbane completed the Charity Cup in June, before Covid restrictions hit, the final leg in […]

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge
  • Campaigns

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge

Australian tech incubator Cicada Innovations and Biennale of Sydney are launching the ‘New & Sustainable Materials Challenge,’ in an effort to create a more sustainable future. The works of chosen material-makers will be showcased to millions of Biennale audiences, exhibition partners, and exhibition makers globally. The Challenge is open to any Australian and UK startups, […]