Turn Off the Electronics, Be Present
I have been on a “control” your email kick for some time. On the personal side of things, I just gave myself a time out from social media. Social media is just a black hole for time, creativity, and getting stuff done. I blame the cat videos. I mean who can say no to cute kittens?
Business email is much like those cat videos and, in all seriousness, I do believe that knowing what we know now about being too connected, makes being disciplined and focused even more important. I have personal experience with this, I was one of the guys early on this connectivity kick that would answer emails as fast as possible. My old boss thought, and still thinks, that answering emails is management. The change for me has been subtle and taken some time. I used to get up and answer emails first thing, that has proven to be a less than effective way to get going in the morning. Every so often I relapse and need to go on my “email retraining” process (today I answered an email at 4:34 am). There are a lot of articles and science that suggest constantly answering emails is bad for focus and getting things done. At one point it got so bad, work colleagues downloaded on their phones my "submarine sonar" sound that told me I had email and had a lot of fun making me look at my phone. Downright Pavlovian.
Here is a good article from Fast Company on the subject. https://www.fastcompany.com/90708170/a-respected-mit-professor-had-a-simple-4-word-rule-for-his-classroom-and-every-company-should-follow-it