What’s are the biggest interruptions to your workflow?

If I had to guess, I’d say email would probably be in the top 3; I know it is for me.

Although email is absolutely necessary for freelancers, it always seems to get in the way of productivity. Having your email always open on your desktop can keep you from producing the best work possible.

Instead, it’s much better to set aside times throughout the day to check your email, and stick to those allotted times.

By setting aside specific times to check your email, you’ll save time that you would have normally spent checking it throughout the day.

Email Productivity Strategy #2: Set ‘Time Budgets’ and Never Stray Outside the Lines

One of the reasons many of us are so unproductive with emails is because we jump in and out of our inbox throughout the day, rarely giving ourselves the opportunity to get into a ‘flow’ of dealing with emails.

With that in mind, my second strategy is simple: give yourself allotted ‘time budgets’ to deal with your emails.

Personally, I go for three 30 minutes slots – in the morning, at lunchtime and before I finish for the day. In a perfect world I’ll get that down to two or even just one session – that’s the target I’m aiming for.

Having at least one slot at the end of the day works especially well for me, because the downside to not getting through my emails is simple: I’ll have to carry on working through them beyond the magic hour of 5pm until I’m done.”

See the rest of the article at Leaving Work Behind.