One of the most important communication tools became one of the biggest distractions in the office. Regardless whether you use it for communicating with your colleagues, finding potential customers or scheduling meetings, reading and writing email seems like a productive thing to do. But the truth is, it’s not.

It is a very dull activity. Your brain needs minimum focus, just to process the information and separate important from unimportant stuff. However, it is very addictive. You often decide to go for a quick check, not to spend much time, just to warm up for the productive mood. You think you can quit whenever you want. Before you know it, you are drowning in your own little email world, reading one after the other, promising yourself that this one is the last one.

How does this affect our productivity?

Even if you are not a morning person, your brain is in its most productive stage 2 or 3 hours after waking up. The second peak of productivity appears just before the lunch break.

So why do we keep wasting our good energy on this undemanding activity? Here are two main reasons: habit or procrastination. People are used to reading emails first thing in the morning because they’ve seen everybody else doing it, because they are afraid they might miss important information or because it is the easiest thing to do. They also might not want to face the challenging tasks just yet, so they turn to emails to create an illusion of being busy.

Here are 5 tips on how to maximize your productivity by not wasting time on emails:

1. Do the most demanding task first

Every morning, when you come to the office, ask yourself what is going to be the toughest task that day and jump right onto it. It will boost you with energy and give you the superior feeling. When you become a bit distracted, have a quick break to read your emails. Changing activities will help you regain your focus, and since you are already in your productive mood, you will be done with emails more efficiently.

2. Use email apps

Almost everyone in corporate world nowadays has a smartphone. Take advantage of it and read your emails from your cell phone the moment they arrive. That way, when you log in from your computer to do some “serious business”, you won’t have thousands of random emails waiting to be read.

3. Filter your emails

Every emailing platform has an option to filter your mail by some criteria or keywords. Find out how the service you use works, and use labels for different types of emails. That way, you could easily search and move through your inbox.

4. Unsubscribe

The chances are that you are receiving emails you don’t need. Unsubscribe from as many subscriber lists as possible, and ask your colleagues to remove you from lists that don’t affect you in any way.

5. Call a person

We all know that someone who writes emails with a word count close to average 19th-century Russian novelist. If they also like to argue via emails, it can get super fun. Do not get involved in such discussions. Business is done in person, and if it’s not an option, use a telephone or arrange a conference call. Use emails for minor discussions or just to confirm what you agreed on.

Using these tips is a great way to start taking back the day and boosting your productivity. Try each of them and see what’s working for you and what’s not, in order to really impact your office habits or simply use time tracker work app to find when you are unproductive the most and try and resolve that.

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OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
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Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
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GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
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SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
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User behavior analytics
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PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
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Video tutorials
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API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
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OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
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PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
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REPORTING
Visual reports
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MANAGEMENT
Permissions
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Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
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Video tutorials
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API
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OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
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IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
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Project adding
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ALERTS
Idle time reminders
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REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
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Knowledge base
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