Marc Andreeson has a blog! (If you don’t recognize the name, he’s the guy who as a grad student took the software engine from the Mosaic browser and re-wrote/re-packaged it as Netscape.) Marc is now working at Google.
He has a post up on his work style – ala “Getting Things Done”. There’s a number of interesting tips, including this one about email:
“Do email exactly twice a day — say, once first thing in the morning, and once at the end of the workday.
Allocated half an hour or whatever it takes, but otherwise, keep your email client shut and your email notifications turned off.
Anyone who needs to reach you so urgently that it can’t wait until later in the day or tomorrow morning can call you, or send a runner, or send up smoke signals, or something else.
Or, more likely, find someone else who can do whatever it is that needs doing.
(If you communicate with your spouse or key family members via email during the day, then just set up a separate email account just for them and leave that open all day, but keep your primary email closed. And never give out the family email address to anyone noncritical — including your boss.)
Only doing email twice a day will make you far more productive for the rest of the day.”
I’m not sure I can get away doing this, but I can probably manage to not be quite so obessive about checking my mail.
The other tip he has that I like is the “anti to-do list” which is basically an old technique that I remember from a time management course that parish I worked for as a seminarian made me take. (You can guess the reason I had to do that.)
Read the rest here: blog.pmarca.com: The Pmarca Guide to Personal Productivity