What Email Triage Sessions and Exercise Have in Common

Email Triage and Exercise

I take my health fairly seriously.

  • I always go for an annual physical with my internist and (usually) follow his advice.

  • I go to the dentist twice a year.

  • I go to the dermatologist once a year to make sure that those years spent baking in the sun in my youth aren’t coming back to haunt me.

  • And yes, I’m a big boy and go ahead and do all those "un-fun" tests and procedures that you need to have as you get older - because the diseases are much more un-fun then the tests!

But I also make time to exercise almost every day.

Don't get me wrong.  I’m certainly no uber-athlete.  

Sorry - no six pack here or "big guns" on my arms.

But I do my best to perform a mix of different types of exercises to try to stay reasonably fit, keep the weight down, and work-up a good sweat a few times a week.  

I enjoy hiking, outdoor activities, and being healthy, and exercise is an important part of that equation.

So, what does any of this have to do with Email Triage sessions you may be wondering?

With a challenging full-time job, family, personal interests, and adjunct-teaching, this meant getting up at an awful, early hour almost every day and either going for a run or hitting the gym.  

It took me a while to condition myself to be able to do this, but once my body adjusted, it just because part of my daily routine - a part of my schedule!

The reason that I am (fairly) good about exercising is that I learned that it won’t happen unless you schedule it!

Now that the kids are bigger, I have been able to work-out at slightly better hours and even after work on some days.

But still, the key to exercising for me is that because it was something that I scheduled into my day, it happened!


The exact same goes for routines that you need to work into your workday, such as your Email triage sessions.

  • Need to conduct a quick morning task review?

  • Time to perform an Email triage session?

  • Want to perform your end-of-week review task and calendar review?

  • Required to write a monthly monthly status or project update report?

To ensure critical items actually happen, consider scheduling them on your calendar as appointments!
— Michael Einstein


This is also advice given by other time management practitioners, such as by Francis Wade in his book Perfect Time-Based Productivity, which I recently reviewed on my blog.


I treat my important work activities just like my exercising.

If I schedule them, they are likely to happen.

Yes, sometimes life or bosses conspire against even the best laid plans.

But by having these important items scheduled on your calendar, it vastly increases the chances they will occur.

And it makes it much easier for you to reschedule them if there is something does get in the way.


How about you?

Do you make use of the calendar to schedule important activities in addition to for just appointments?

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