Email productivity policy and HTML signature in GMail (chasing the 4-hour work week)

It’s over.

Its not you, its me.

I just can’t be chained to you anymore email.

We’re breaking up.

Reading The Four Hour Work Week has inspired me to do something I should’ve done a long time ago (and would’ve had i know it was possible.) That is, break my all-day, energy-consuming, time-draining addiction to email and free up my energy to be truly productive in all my endeavors.

I was exactly like most Information Workers, spend all day online, and process a constant torrent of emails. This practice effectively prevented me from deep engagement in any one project in favor of a general, “multi-tasking” mediocrity.

One simply can’t maintain depth and focus with constant distraction.

The first move is to limit the times you check email. I chose a particularly low workload period to implement this shift so as not to alarm my clients and vendors. I built a simple auto-signature using basic HTML code and added it to my outgoing mails.
Something like: “Email Productivity Policy: To maintain maximum effectiveness I check email only twice a day at 10am and 4pm MST. If you need to reach me for urgent business call my cell:…

You can take a look at mine here:

I use Gmail so I had to download an extension; Gmail does not allow HTML signatures natively. The Better Gmail extension for the Firefox browser does however and it is easy to implement and has a few extra bells and whistles you might like. I set my signature to float, meaning it will always post directly under my latest writing.

I have had no complaints on this move and I have not missed anything that could not be handled later. I intend to move to once a day soon and can foresee no problems with this shift either.

This simple(though previously frightening) shift has already allowed me to achieve much greater focus, feel a greater sense of productivity and clarity, and be exponentially more productive throughout my workday.

I highly recommend giving it a try.

Email productivity policy and HTML signature in GMail (chasing the 4-hour work week)

5 Responses

  1. yeah, dawg! snuff that email!:) I just finished 4-Hour Week and am implementing it now. I also like Bit Literacy’s approach to email in conjunction with Timothy’s.

    Keep us updated on your 4-Hour experience:)

    Ryan Oelke June 6, 2007 at 6:09 pm #
  2. Nice work man… I have severe resistance boiling-up every time I even think of implementing this process. But I’m also the IT guy, and many times I wait for work to come to me… but that’s what cell-phones are for right? Let us know how it goes.

    Robert MacNaughton June 7, 2007 at 4:15 am #
  3. Hello

    Looks good! Very useful, good stuff. Good resources here. Thanks much!


    govokinolij July 10, 2007 at 11:09 am #
  4. Hi

    Very nice work, admin! Have advised. It is healthy.


    sopitikoj September 7, 2007 at 8:31 pm #
  5. Great website. I want to improve my flexible legislation Wanna joke?) What day does a fish hate? Fry day.

    wraggibbomfob October 27, 2008 at 12:58 am #

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