DoS Management Tip No5 – Check Email Twice A Day

June 21, 2010

My hero is the boxer Muhammad Ali. In fact I can’t think of a finer management guru than The Greatest Of All Times!

One of Ali’s secrets was he always looked like he was having fun – and that’s no mean feat when your job involves getting punched really hard in the face. Yet even in the ring he had a twinkle in his eye and a smile hovering over his gumshield.

And he’s right. Work should be fun. Life is too short to hate work. What’s the one thing that ruins everyone’s fun at work? That’s right – Email.

I hate Email. Truly and deeply.

There are lots of things to hate about it. The thing guaranteed to turn me from mild-mannered DoS to raging Joe Frazier is that stupid red exclamation mark that people needlessly attach to their emails. !!! I take great delight in binning anything that comes with that offensive punctuation mark.

Email can quickly become your master – setting your agenda as you respond to what other people expect you to be do rather than doing what would make you most productive.

So what to do about this enemy of fun?

I’ve had some great email tips (one – get your in-box to zero – we’ll look at in a later post). My favourite is very simple – check emails twice a day – and no more. Go on – I dare you.

People go mad when I suggest this.

“But I might miss an important email!” – So what? If it was really important they’d pick up the phone.

“I might be the last to respond to my boss and look really bad.” – So what? They’ll get over it.

“Don’t take away my emails! Don’t do it! Don’t do it! I love them!” – oh, oh – now you just need a good Muhammad Ali whuppin’.

It’ll hurt at first, but checking email twice a day will give you so much more time to be productive. Once you’ve checked – turn it off. No beeps to bug you about the lovely mails you’re missing.

Others might not like it at first but they’ll get used to it. I find that if people really need me they’ll pick up the phone. That suits me too as I tend to get problems solved quicker over the phone than in a game of email tennis.

What do you think? Will you be able to cut the email habit to twice a day?

For more inspiration from The Greatest go to

2 Responses to “DoS Management Tip No5 – Check Email Twice A Day”

  1. chris Says:

    Love it!

    Looking forward making Email my slave and not the other way round.

    I remember watching rounds of ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ on TV as a child. You’re right about his love for his sport/work.

    Incidenyally, My father even met him – out of the ring I’ll hasten to add.

    Thanks for this tip Mike. Just the tonic I needed!


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