Joanne Gray's Secret Work Weapon? Be strict with email

Joanne Gray, marketing director at TOMY Europe, follows a strict email strategy and listens to audio books on her commute to combat stress.

The two things that have the potential to stress me out are my commute to work and emails.

Twenty years ago, emails barely existed, and now some people have an inability to communicate in any other way – what happened to good, old-fashioned conversations?

Without doubt, email is a great communication tool if used properly, but I prefer to spend less time dealing with emails and more time getting the right work done. So I follow these guiding principles to keep my emails and inbox under control:

  • Email less, talk more.
  • Use the two-minute rule when processing emails: reply to any message that will take fewer than two minutes on the spot, then delete/file as appropriate.
  • Send fewer emails and you will receive fewer.

With the commute, I have no alternative but to drive to work, and I spend almost 2.5 hours a day in the car. A friend recommended audio books – a great way to "escape" while dealing with the mundane traffic.

By listening to a book, I can switch off from work at the end of a busy day. It also feels like I’m able to tick one of my interests off the to-do list, as I love to read (or, in this case, be read to), but ordinarily I just cannot find the time to sit down and enjoy a good book. 

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