There are two well-intentioned things that most entrepreneurs do each day, and it is derailing your productivity. The first is using your email as a to-do list. The second is leaving your email open throughout the day.

I used to think that working online meant that I had to keep my email open at all times. How else would my clients and team reach me? The problem is that I would spend the day ping-ponging from what I was working on, to my email and back again. This is a huge distraction.

Inevitably, when you notice a new email pop up, you will be tempted to stop what you are doing and read it right away. Then, because you are busy, those emails will sit until you completed the five other things calling for your attention.  

When working out of email, tasks and conversations fall to the bottom, and they tend to get lost as new emails continue to pile in. It’s out of sight – out of mind, which means that important task or reminders can quickly be buried and forgotten. The bottom line is that email is no way to keep track of the things you need to get done.

Your inbox is not a To-Do list!

Close your email to prevent distractions and schedule set times to process your email throughout the day. When an email contains a task or information related to a project you are working on, add it to your task list or project management system such as Teamwork Projects so that you can prioritize what needs to be done and schedule your tasks appropriately.

Once you respond to an email or add the next action to your to-do list, remove it from your inbox to prevent the digital clutter and overwhelm that a full inbox can cause. For more tips on how to master your email, including a look at how I manage my Gmail account visit:

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