Avoid Email Distractions with a Custom Auto-Reply Message
Most of us spend way too much time wading through email every day. Blogger and reader Doug Belshaw solved this problem by turning on his "out of office" email responder—for an entire month.
Instead of notifying his co-workers that he was out of the office, though, Belshaw used it as more of a reminder that he isn't attached to email all day, and as peace of mind that he could keep working without anything urgent slipping away:
Thanks for your email. I’ll get to it during my morning ‘internet ablutions’ (as William Gibson would put it).
If you need a quicker response than asynchronous communication can provide, please do consider one of the following (in order of preference):
...where he listed his IRC, Twitter, and Skype handles.
How well it works will depend on your workplace and colleagues, but Belshaw found that it worked surprisingly well. The few people that needed him urgently sought him out through other means, while the rest of his co-workers were very respectful of his work/life balance (and some even supported his commitment to avoiding email). Other issues just resolved themselves.