Weed it out – Anytime I find that I am not getting full value for my time from a newsletter, ezine or other informational email source, even though I may be getting some good stuff, out it goes. Chances are that I am either getting or can get the same info through another, more ROI-positive source.
Save it for a specific time – I used to waste hours a day stopping to read business-related newsletters and ezines as they came in or as I ran across them. Now, I put aside one day to read it all. This day is set aside solely for reading informational business mail (not client mail) and for a few other business activities that need focused attention. I don’t schedule other business on this day, unless it is unavoidable. This way, I can get caught up and handle all necessary responses without feeling like I’m neglecting my “real” work.
Scan, cram and scram – This is the biggie for saving time. Learn to read for overall content and not for word-by-word absorption. This isn’t deathless prose, folks, so there’s no need to suck it in like some unearthed lost volume of Hemingway. Scan any headings or sub-titles, ignoring completely what you don’t need to know, and then scan-read the content of what you do need quickly to get the gist of the message. Only spend time on intense focused reading if the concept/content is difficult (yet vital) or supremely interesting and important. (If it’s just interesting, but not important, you can always read it some other time when you have a few minutes free.) Once you’ve gotten what you need, save only the emails that you absolutely need for reference in an email folder and delete all the rest.