One Touch Email

The Problem: When checking email, we often read a bunch of messages and reply to them later. The problem is we’re reading (and thinking about) those messages twice.

The Trick:
You should only “touch” an email once. Open it, read it and then act on it. That might mean replying, forwarding, delegating, or putting it into a folder.

How it works: Ever notice the little “oooh!” feeling when new messages show up in your inbox? Our brains release a little of the neurotransmitter Dopamine (associated with the pleasure/reward systems) based on novelty. That’s why we find ourselves checking email all day long,(or visiting the same sites over and over again.)

We’re hoping to find something new.

Similarly, because replying isn’t as much fun as reading new emails we often push it off. When we finally get around to replying, we have to read them again, which wastes time.

Stop doing that, and you’ll soon be working faster!


  1. Irma Rosales

    Thank you very much for your support, excelent ideas, I’m trying to work in those.
    Regards from Mexico.

  2. Dilip

    thank you verry much for your support, i m trying to work with those.

  3. Lisa Marie Mary

    I don’t even remember how I found you, but, I’m so glad I did! Thank you for this – it’s perfect timing, actually. I’ve been trying to, in the last week, go really hardcore ‘clean it up, Lisa!’ on my email!

  4. Aaron

    Lisa – nice. Improving email flow is one of those things that goes better when you really dig into it. Hardcore!

  5. Laura

    That works fine for some things but not for others. Some emails bring problems that you need to leave time to think about, and maybe even consult a colleague about before you can answer. You can’t always dash off an answer – some things need a considered reply.

  6. lengochanhu

    Thanks a lot for the tip. I have that habit of reading the email and reading it AGAIN when replying later, but I did not realize that was a habit of wasting time, when later I have to lurk in the mail box again and check and reply.
    Thanks a lot.
    An amount of time saved, though small, counts!!!!

  7. Kubilay

    Brilliant thank you for your support


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