If you’re spending your day sending and receiving email messages, then you’re spending your day responding to other people’s priorities.
A lot of the email you receive is a request for information. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have some other way to find the information. If you have information that someone else needs, determine the urgency with which they need that information. Then decide the best way for you to respond.
If someone needs to share information with you, archive it to a “read later” folder. If someone requests that you do some task, add the task to your calendar, defer the task, delegate to someone else, or shoot a quick email back renegotiating the timeframe so that it better meets your schedule.
It’s difficult to achieve all of your own necessary outcomes, but it’s impossible to do so if you’re always vigilantly standing by waiting for other people’s priorities to arrive. It’s important that you don’t neglect other people’s needs. But it isn’t necessary–or effective–to allow their priorities to become yours.
What does your typical day look like? Spending all day in your email inbox? Or spending the day working on the projects that matter to you?
Summing-up: Your inbox is the place where other people’s priorities live. Your task list is the list of your priorities, and that’s what you need to accomplish to reach your goals. As much as possible, leave other people’s priorities to them…