Shut off your email

Not completely, but find some kind of solution that works for you while you're going through this transition. What's working well for me right now is this:

  • I scan through my blackberry in the morning to see if there is anything that appears to be urgent, but I don't turn on email on my computer
  • I get to work and leave my blackberry in the kitchen, and look at it only when I get up for a coffee/tea break or lunch.
  • I spend an hour or so in the afternoon replying to email, and I try very hard to stick with the time limit and not lose focus
  • I allow for free time with email and Facebook in the early evening
  • I simply tell people I'm working on a project for the next 8 weeks. It's not forever and most people respect that you're focused. It even creates some curiosity.

Remember, you don't have to always be available by phone, email, text messages etc.