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How to Not Let Email Rule Your Priorities
Don’t leave your email program open all day long. Alerts from incoming messages interrupt your workflow.
Instead, schedule specific blocks of time throughout the day for checking your email.
Craft an email reply like this one cited by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Work Week:
"Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM ET.
If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12:00 PM or 4:00 PM, please contact me via phone at 555-555-5555."
The amount of time required for reviewing the email and replying will depend on how frequently you check messages and how many you typically receive.
Some people find it more effective to dedicate 10 minutes every hour to email while others prefer to only check email just two or three times a day.