At the beginning of the year, productivity Dan Markovitz of TimeBack Management said something to me that hit home. No one gets paid to read and respond to email. We know that's true, yet we can't help getting sucked in and spending hours in our Inbox. He suggests looking at your calendar several times a day, to figure out what you should be doing rather than reading email.
Today, Lifehacker has a great post titled: Your Value Is in Deciding What's Important, Not Answering Email
In that post is this key graph: Asked how he achieve work/life balance, Google's Director of Research Peter Norvig offered up a pretty easy answer. He knows that his job is in making good decisions on what's important, rather than what just arrived three minutes ago.
Here's his quote: People get out of balance when they see their value as being able to respond quickly. If I see myself as a machine for answering email, then my work life would never stop because my email never stops. If instead I see my value as separating the important from the unimportant and making good decisions on the important, then I can go home at a reasonable hour, spend time with my family, ignore my email and phone messages all weekend long, and make sure that when I return to work, I am in the right mood to make the good decisions.
Knowing that, do you think you are spending your day making good decisions and accomplishing your priorities. Or is most of your day spent responding to email? If it's the later, are you willing to make a change?