Keep things from piling up by checking your email throughout the day.
During the work week, I keep a browser tab with my inbox open pretty much all day. I like knowing what’s happening as it’s happening.
Immediately respond to anything requiring only a minute of your time. (Or if you want to take things really seriously, try to OHIO method—Only Handle It Once.)
Use the ‘one-minute rule.’ If something takes less than one minute to accomplish, try doing it right away instead of putting it off for later.
When you’re in the middle of something, use Boomerang to temporarily pause your inbox.
I use Boomerang, a Gmail plugin, to pause my inbox whenever I’m just not ready to deal with it. This keeps me from getting overwhelmed or distracted when I’m in the middle of something else.
Use Boomerang, Superhuman, MixMax, or Streak to temporarily hide an email from your inbox and bring it back when you need it.
I use Superhuman, a paid email app, which makes things super fast and efficient. I love using the option to bring an email back into my inbox if I don’t get a response. And even if I mark a message to just bounce back to me at a later date, moving it out of my inbox gives me mental permission to not work on it until the time is right.
Use Superhuman, Boomerang, or Sortd to schedule responses to emails.
Using Superhuman to schedule a message that needs to go out later lets me handle a message right away (and get it out of my inbox)—even if it would be more appropriate to send it at a later time.