I just sent an email to someone who I just met and received the following (slightly edited) response:
Attention: Email policy update.
Partners, Colleagues, and Friends:
In an effort to increase productivity and efficiency in 2009 I am modifying my personal email policy. I’ve recently realized I have slipped back into spending more time shuffling through my inbox and less time focused on the task at hand for my partners. It has become an unnecessary distraction that ultimately creates longer lead times on my ever-growing ‘to do’ list.
Going forward I will be checking/responding to email at three times a day, 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. on Monday – Friday. I will try and respond to email in a timely manner without neglecting the needs of our clients/partners and brand identity.
If this is an emergency, and you need an immediate time-sensitive response… please do not hesitate to call me on my mobile phone at <omitted>
This new approach to email management will result in shorter lead times with more focused & creative work on my part for you.
I like this idea. I’d want to have a mechanism to have VIP emails (my boss, my biggest customers, my wife) come to my attention immediately, but otherwise I think it would work great. Anyone else doing creative email time management? Tips appreciated.