Why your email habits could be costing you hours every month

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How often are you checking your email? Your answer to this one question could be costing you hours of lost time every day.

According to my poll last week, with over 1900 responses, about 77% of you leave your email open all day. This means you’re in a continual state of switchtasking!

Instead of constantly checking emails, try the system I share in this video from my fully revised LinkedIn Learning course, Time Management Fundamentals. It will save you hundreds of hours each year:

Step 1: Schedule time in your calendar to check your email. The frequency will depend on your unique needs.

Step 2: Close your inbox and turn off notifications.

Step 3: Check your email ONLY during your scheduled times.

Step 4: Process your inbox to zero at least once per week.

One more important detail: There’s a big difference between checking and processing email. While checking your email during those scheduled times, ask yourself, “Can this wait until my next processing time?”

If yes, move on to the next email.

If no, process it immediately using the what, when, where questions.

Your inbox should serve you—not control you. Implementing a system will not only give you more time, it’ll also lower your stress levels and improve your quality of work, too.


Emails are just one of the core principles to improving your time management. I share my entire system in my newly updated course, Time Management Fundamentals. You can find it on LinkedIn Learning or by simply visiting davecrenshaw.com/time.

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