How did it get so out of control?


My email was getting behind. My project turnaround time was growing. My husband ate pizza for dinner two nights in a row.

I was feeling very frustrated. How did it all get so out of control? I know there was more work because several program launches for clients were happening at the same time. I was also trying to get it all done before we went camping for Labor Day weekend.

But, I can usually fall onto my time systems. Into my head popped a conversation we had in my Project Class about email. Email is quick, fast and there might be a few easy to do tasks in there. Much easier than working on a daunting to do list.

So I was popping into email in between every single task. I’d answer some emails then maybe do an email task that was pretty easy. And back to email.

My projects and important work weren’t being touched because instead of following my to do list I was falling into the email trap.

Immediately I went back to my email processing schedule. Email processing, not email checking. Email checking without processing tends to waste time.

I answer simple emails during processing time and more time consuming emails I put on my to do list for the next day. Quickly I started to catch up on my backlog of tasks because I was no longer interrupting myself by checking email.

When I wanted to go into easy email, I had to remind myself to do what was more important.

Has email sneakily started taking over your time?


You can learn about my time systems in my Change Your Relationship with Time class.


  • Beth, I have the other problem. I focus so well on the important quadrant that my emails get behind 🙂

  • Jessie says:

    Hi Beth, I sometimes think of my home and family worries while checking my email and then after a short moment, I’ll get back continuing email processing and management. (” , )

  • Maria says:

    Hi Beth,
    I follow your blog from Sweden and I wonder why your husband eats pizza instead of cooking for the family? Is cooking a female chore still in the US?

  • Beth Dargis says:

    Hi Maria, for some families the female often cooks is especially if the mom doesn’t work. But, for many of the families I know the wife or husband cooks and the other does the dishes. For us I probably cook just over half of the time. We get pizza about once a week as we have a pizza place on the block behind our house and neither of us are thrilled with cooking.

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