Managing email and work-life balance

I’ll probably never be the most consistent blogger, but WordPress recently made me aware of something: I only blog regularly when I’m taking time off from work.


I’m back in the office today after a week of part-time work from home[1] and I realized that without making a conscious to do so I ended up blogging every day that I was away from the office.

This insight got me thinking. Specifically, it got me thinking about how I spend my work days, and about how in recent months[2] I’ve been letting my inbox push me around. Although playing a defensive game can work in some contexts[3], I believe I need to adopt a more aggressive posture in this fight.

Starting today I’m trying this approach to Inbox Zero from MVP Luise Freese. I’m hoping that by managing my email more proactively and strategically I can not only be more productive at work, but also have more mental energy and time remaining for blogging.

My teammate Adam Saxton is doing the same thing; he’s a few days ahead of me and is pleased with his progress so far. I’ll check in with him – and with you – next week to see how things are going. Now back to Outlook; I have more items marked for follow-up today…

[1] Part time work from home and full-time feeling old: My older son graduated from high school last week. Where did the years go?

[2] Years.

[3] Please don’t tell Johannes Liechtenauer I said this.

2 thoughts on “Managing email and work-life balance

  1. Marcus Early

    Thank you for blogging this and kicking me to stay on it myself. I made a commitment to setup Flows at the beginning of the year to save attachments and mark read/file. I create several a week and that has helped but I need to do more. Need to get back in the habit of dragging emails to the calendar and scheduling time to respond. That helped me illustrate to others how much I had going on and plan my day accordingly.


  2. Matt Allington

    I like the technique. I learnt to plan using the Franklin Planner from the Franklin Covey Corp. More recently I have started using Microsoft To-Do as my tool to manage all the tasks (which is very good). The big gap (in my view) with Microsoft To-Do is the lack of a suitable method to plan the week (as described by Luise’s method). I have been managing my emails to zero on some days, and letting it run when I run out of time – I think that may be classes as cheating 🙂


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