It would be surprising to no one if you found me in front of my computer with 8 or more tabs open in my browser. I run a business that focuses on digital marketing and we’re doing well. So it’s not surprising that I need a plethora of online resources to help me conduct my business, is it?

Perhaps it might be surprising that when I find myself getting really busy, the first thing I do to decrease my workload is close browser tabs. Next, I go through and I delete emails. Sure, there may have been valuable information in them. But that valuable information does nothing for me if I can’t achieve the core goals of my business.

Now, of course, I don’t randomly delete emails with no sense of guidance. I target a specific type of email: ones that include things I need to read. Client emails stay. Emails from my business partner are kept. Friends and family get a pass, too. But newsletters and blog posts can quickly get the axe if they are distracting me from the work I need to do.

One thing I’ve found is that I produce lower quality work at a slower rate when I’m juggling a myriad of distractions.

It makes sense really. Having all those emails of things I simply HAVE to read and browser windows of things I MUST check out leaves me feeling pressured. I rush. I skim. Nothing gets my full attention. That’s not fair to me and it’s certainly not fair to my clients or my partner. So I delete. I close browser windows.  Then I breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the items that really drive things forward.

I’d love to hear your thoughts: how are you managing your email so that it doesn’t get out of hand?

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