Yes email runs much of the life of web workers now and no that’s not about to change. If you’re like me one of the most annoying things is ‘important’ or ‘urgent’ emails.

Be honest, how many times have you received an important email asking you to complete a task and deferred the work to later rather than doing it now. It’s not your fault. You know the task is important, but how important is it really? I think we can all agree that most of the time, it’s not that important

One of the best ways I have trained people to stop sending emails marked important is to not check my email every few seconds. When I worked in house at a non-profit I made it very clear that I only checked my email just after lunch and just before the end of the day. The rest of the time I was head down in code.

I was able to train all the people that if it was really important they needed to come by my desk and talk to me about it.

I took it a step further though, I wore headphones all the time. Even when I wasn’t listening to music. I’d often ignore the first time they said my name. Funny enough 90% of the time they would leave after saying my name once. Their task was not important enough to say my name a second time.

Even now I don’t check my email till lunch and at the end of the day. I also don’t answer my phone much of the time. Most times when a client calls they don’t even bother to leave a message.

Yes the urgent item that couldn’t wait for me to check an email, wasn’t even worth leaving a message for.

People, most things are only urgent to you in the moment. They can wait, so let them wait.

Quote from Matthew Lang