3 Best Times to Check Your Email
Updated: Jan 3, 2021
A sales job can be very demanding simply due to the fact that it requires such immediate action on tasks. As the old adage goes, time kills deals, and if you've ever held a quota, you've heard this phrase from your manager.
Everything is deemed urgent because every second not chipping away at Closed Won business seems like a waste. If you are not moving a deal along, you are not moving your quota along. This is probably why many sales people get caught looking at their email - all day.
Of course, every sale is different and there are a number of factors that play into the urgency around closing a deal - time of the day/month/year, average deal size, and distance to your quota. But the fact is, there's nothing you can do that will result in you receiving an email faster. Staring at your inbox and refreshing the screen with the hope that you will have one more task you can accomplish that gets you closer to your sales goal is not the way to live your work life.
It can be very difficult to do, but a way to avoid this is to set time to check your email. If you added up all of the time that you took throughout the day answering email, you probably wouldn't be spending more than two hours. In fact, according to a McKinsey analysis, the average professional spends 2.6 hours a day in their inbox. So why not concentrate those 2.6 hours into planned sessions instead of letting it interrupt your day 5-10 minutes at a time, 10-20x per day?
The Cost of Email
The main reason checking your email so frequently is negatively impacting your work day is not because of the action itself, but because of what the frequency does to your attention span. It can take people up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully recover after an interruption. Now does this GIF-filled email thread congratulating someone on their sale feel worth checking?
Make a Plan
The goal should be to check your email 3 times during the day:
9:00 am - Respond to anything from the night before
1:00 pm - Check in after lunch and respond to morning emails
5:00 pm - Catch up on anything that requires a response today before signing off for the day
This gives you three different periods to be exclusively focused on checking email. The good news - 62% of all email is not important and can be processed in bulk.
You're probably thinking, but what about the people who are looking for me to get back to them right away?! Only 11% of customers/clients and 8% of coworkers expect a responses in less than an hour. If something does require a response that urgent, then you should be speaking with them on the phone talk through important details.
Checking your email is similar to checking your social media - you might find good pieces of information in there, and even some stuff that you can act on, but for the most part, it's full of noise distracting from your goals and quotas.
But with some proper planning and discipline, we can stay in control of it and conquer that quota with ease.