July 20, 2018

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How Often Should You Check Email?

Gary Stauble’s 2 Minute Coaching

Topic #1:

How often should you check email?

I often tell my recruiting clients that single-tasking is a very powerful productivity strategy. That being said, I cannot think of a single thing that is more disruptive to having this type of laser-like focus than email. If you want to be super-productive, you will need to withdraw from the sugar high of constant email checking and get control of this bad habit. Constant checking of email may be one of the biggest impediments to productivity in your day. It was for me until I decided on a schedule.

My recommendation would be to check email about once every 3 hours. This will take discipline and feel strange at first but the payoff will be huge if you use that extra time to make more calls. "Batching" your tasks in a few segments during the day, rather than every 20 or 30 minutes between email breaks pays big dividends in terms of increased horsepower.

Think tank:

How often are you checking email each day? What is all of that sporadic activity costing you? What would your productivity look like if you only checked email every three hours? Are you willing to change this habit and create a new schedule for yourself right now?

Topic #2:

Plant referral seeds

The key to securing regular referrals is to make their acquisition into a daily process in your office. You can plant referral seeds in many subtle ways. For instance, you can add a signature line to your email such as:

“PS, I grow my client list through quality referrals from people like you. Do you know any talented programmers who might benefit from my service”?

Another example of an easy method for getting referrals is to send a card to thank your clients just for being a client. Send it out of the blue- for no apparent reason. When people feel appreciated, they are more likely to refer.

Lastly, simply add a check box to the very end of your candidate intake form that says, “Ask for referrals”. By having it on your form, you do not need to remember to ask, the form itself will prompt you. By adding a check box next to the question, you are much more likely to ask than if it was just there as a reminder but without the check box (this is why magazines use check boxes on their subscription cards). By having this as the last question before you wrap up your intake, you’ve also given yourself plenty of time too build rapport and add value for the candidate so they are more likely to be willing to provide the referral.

Topic #3:

Are you asking wimpy questions?

In my work with Owners and Recruiters I find that they are often feeling guilty and stressed about how much they are not doing on a daily basis. Our business tends to breed a sense of “overwhelm” and adrenaline-driven behavior. Left unchecked, these feelings tend to have a paralyzing effect on recruiters and eventually you may end up procrastinating or avoiding important tasks altogether.

The questions that you chronically ask yourself have a big effect on your mood and productivity. Weak questions lead to weak results and vice versa. One way to quickly change your mood and your productivity is to ask yourself smarter questions. Think about these examples:

Questions such as these will put you in a wimpy state:

  1. Why doesn’t anyone ever return my calls?
  2. How come I can’t seem to get this stuff?
  3. Why do I have to make all these calls?
  4. How come my clients don’t respect my time?
  5. How come I keep procrastinating?

Questions such as these will put you in a stronger state:

  • What’s the fastest way to my next sendout?
  • What are 3 easy calls I can make right now to get into action?
  • What am I proud of right now?
  • What do I love about this business?
  • What hidden opportunities do I have on my desk right now?

- Gary Stauble

Gary Stauble is the Principal Consultant for The Recruiting Lab. He provides Recruiters with the Training, Tools and Systems to make More Placements with Less Effort. He offers several Free Resources on his website at His new website is called, “Done By Noon” and is focused on Time Management & Lifestyle Design training. You can get his new Report, “3 No B.S. Strategies for Increasing Productivity” at