Op-ed of the day: Get control of your email

Economist Tim Harford has some advice: Stop letting email distract, control and annoy you. He’s shared a few simple ideas in a column in the Financial Times.

Process your email inbox – and empty it

Let me just take a quick break to check on my email inbox. I’ll be right back …

… I’m back. There was one email. Now there’s none. I have become increasingly convinced that sanity depends on keeping your inbox as empty as possible, checking it several times a day (but not several times an hour) and dealing promptly with everything that lurks there.

This doesn’t mean letting your inbox jerk you around on a string – it is all too easy to allow other people’s priorities to run your day. But most incoming email can be processed very quickly without interrupting what really matters.

That’s just one tip. Harford’s got nine more. Read them, then go to your inbox and start whittling.