How to decrease email time and increase creative time?

How to decrease email time and increase creative time?

Google just sent my monthly email summary. In the past month, on only my work email account, I sent 1,000 emails and received 1,819 emails. I’m sure plenty of people send and receive many times more emails than this. But, I would like to opine for a second on how much time ’emailing’ consumes. Query: how to decrease this time sink and afford more time for creativity?

If, on average, I spend 5 minutes on each email I send and 3 minutes on each email I receive, in aggregate I spent about 174 hours ’emailing’ the past four weeks.

I do not know if my 5 and 3 minute estimates are accurate, but if they are, that’s a frightening amount of time emailing. If you call a working day 10 hours (which I do not, but let’s say 10 hours for the sake of it), then I spent more than 17 days out of the last 28 strictly emailing! If I work 6-days/week and 10 hrs/day (I usually work many more, but that’s besides the point), then I emailed 17/24, or 70% of the time. Yikes.

There must be a better way to communicate.

And, if I spend this much time emailing, I’m not leaving a lot of time for creativity and invention (much less time to educate myself on various topics of interest) — some of the really important to-dos.

Raleigh, NC

4 thoughts on “How to decrease email time and increase creative time?

  1. JT,

    Get a RAFT. This is a system I adopted a few years back and it works.

    1. Turn off mail notification. It is a distraction and an interrupter.
    2. Only check mail every few hours. Twice a day if you can do it, but that’s tough. Maybe every three hours is more realistic.
    3. Use the RAFT – Read – Act – File – Trash (see
    4. Don’t use your e-mail as a to-do list.
    5. Pick up the phone. Usually it is quicker and more efficient to talk or leave a short voice message rather than trying to write it out. Talking is bi-directional and real time. I don’t have to wait for your e-mail reply only to find out one of us didn’t understand the message, which results in two or three more e-mails.

    The idea is for you to use e-mail; not let it use you.

    Good luck,


  2. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to grasp so much about this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I feel that you just could do with a few p.c. to power the message house a bit, however instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.|

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s