Where would we be in this day and age without emails? It has connected people, organisations and communities, however, what was once seen as the cure is now very much part of the problem.

Employees can spend more than 90 minutes a day recovering and re-focusing from email distractions. To put it into perspective – that’s seven-and-a-half hours a week and on average 30 hours a month! It proves just how bad multitasking can be for efficiency.

Looking at these stats, it’s unlikely you will make it through this piece without at least five emails popping up. But don’t get distracted – stay with us – as we asked our network their top tips in avoiding the itch…

Turn off notifications

No longer get distracted by the ping at the corner of your screen by simply turning off your notifications. If you’re worried you may miss something important, start small and switch to a notification free zone when you’re working your way through a task. Once it’s complete, turn them back on. By doing this, you will be fully focused meaning that more often than not you will complete your task quicker than expected.

Check your emails at scheduled times

If you’re bold enough to indefinitely turn off your email notifications then schedule specific times throughout the day to check them. We’ve found between one or three times to be the most effective. However, this doesn’t just apply to those who no longer receive notifications. You can still assign times such as 9am, 1pm and 4pm a day to work your way through your inbox. Trust us, you will feel less stressed at emails flying in by knowing you have dedicated time to action them.

Never answer a cc

Firstly, only cc in someone if it is necessary. Nobody has the time to scroll through hundreds of cc’d emails, which may in fact not be relevant to them. Secondly, if you’re cc’d it probably means you don’t need to reply. So, have a quick read to grasp the topic of conversation, then move onto the more pressing responses.

The two-minute rule

This is a simple but effective rule. When you process an email, if you can answer it in two minutes or less then answer it. If you can’t, it will be added as an additional task to your ever-growing list of actions.

Use autoresponders effectively

If employees aren’t on their emails, then they are most likely in meetings. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. So, be savvy and use an autoresponder to request a purpose, role and agenda for meeting invites. That way you will know exactly the outline of the meeting and your part in it (if in fact you are actually needed).