Ole Eichorn writes about the six rules for avoiding email tyranny:
1. Turn your email client off. Pick the moment at which you’ll be interrupted.
2. Never criticize anyone in email, and avoid technical debates. Use face-to-face meetings or ‘phone calls instead.
3. Be judicious in who you send email to, and who you copy on emails.
4. Observing some formality is important.
5. Don’t hesitate to review and revise important emails.
6. Remember that email is a public and permanent record.
He adds a “one big rule and four guidelines” for being productive:
Big Rule: It takes three hours to get anything done.
1. Turn off your email client, put your ‘phone in “do not disturb”.
2. Isolate yourself. Get good headphones. Warn colleagues when you’re “in the zone”, to minimize their interrupts.
3. Minimize meetings and schedule them to avoid three-hour windows.
4. Become self-aware about warping off and try to un-stuck yourself.