So here is my mail policy. I would divide my emails into two. Things that can be finished in a minute or two. And things that would take longer than five minutes.
For everything that can be done in less than 2 minutes, I would do those, at the moment I get the email (thanks to push mail). This could include delegating things, forwarding messages to people, allocating tasks, replying to quick requests etc. I reckon that these would be about 80% of emails that I get in a day. I also assume that for these emails, since the replies would be short, I wont have to be at the mercy of a laptop as I can use my phone to get these done.
The tasks that would take longer, replying to long emails, emails to friends and family, guest post requests etc, I would take them up in one sitting. For these tasks, I would check my email twice. Once at the morning and other towards the evening or before I sleep. Each time I would allocate as much time it takes to get done with them.
Everyday, I would sleep with my mailbox empty with all requests.
And along with, I would need a system to track the followups since I would start delegating a lot more things and experience tells me that people are generally lazy. I have been trying to do the followup using tasks with Google Calendar. So far it looks nice and easy. Lets see how it goes and how I use it over a long term.
The new email policy would also mean that I would have to unsubscribe from all those newsletters that I love reading (Gapingvoid, Seth Godin, Vimrod, Jason Calacanis etc). And subscribe to those from a regular feed reader or something. Finally, the bigger picture (of having an email policy) behind all these changes, is to try and simplify life over the next few weeks. And reach a point where these things dont clutter my head and I am free to think and work on larger issues.
Originally posted on Sandbox.