Well, we had 120 or so for the "Overcoming E-mail Overload" seminar Thursday. That’s a lot larger than average crowd. So if you are struggling with the problem, you can see that you are not alone. Here’s one more thought along this line.
Try this technique. Get one project completed in the morning before you even open your e-mail client. Time management experts tell us that we should try to get the most important thing we have to do that day done first. So complete your most important job before you open your e-mail, even if you are like me and a lot of your "real work" is done via e-mail. This is not an original thought by any means. I’d encourage all of you to read "Geek to Live: Control Your Workday" by LifeHacker’s Gina Trapani. But this makes so much sense because reading your e-mail puts you in the reactive mode. Getting an accomplishment under your belt first thing may make the day go better.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of adhering to this practice is that you will hopefully never again find yourself working after 5 p.m. (with your family holding dinner for you) on what should have been a short project when you’ve known all day that it had to be completed today. At first I thought this was a good idea that wouldn’t work for me because always check my e-mail from home before I leave for work in case I want to contemplate anything on the commute. But then I thought that is why it should really work for me once I arrive.