Email is an issue for us all. There’s too much of it.
It provides a false sense of progress just by virtue of being answered (even if all it does is engender another email). And if we don’t answer immediately we feel guilty and anxious. The average email is answered in 6 seconds – if that’s not a sign that we’re taking it all too seriously, then what is?
I’ve written before about how to write more clearly (we are all professional writers now, if we are writing emails for most of our day, so get used to it). Here’s an article that entreats us to stop apologising for taking so long to reply to emails. If you’re doing that stop wasting your time.
Also take off the automatic “ping” that says email has arrived in your inbox. Concentrate on what you’re doing. An empty inbox is great (I love it) but it’s not necessarily the most important thing to get to empty before you deal with strategic priorities and people issues!