Treat Your Email Like Tetris: One Action At A Time

Treat Your Email Like Tetris: One Action At A Time

Tetris can do a lot of good things for your brain, and your line-clearing skills can also translate to the real world — and not just for packing the car. Writer Jon Harrison says you should treat your daily tasks — like email — as you would Tetris.

Photo by William Warby

When you play Tetris, you make hundreds of decisions very quickly — but you make them one at a time, one after the other. And after you make one decision, you’re done, and you move onto the next one. You know what’s coming next, but can only act on each block as it starts falling.

Your work, Jon says, should be the same way:

If you’re like many people I know, you will read an email the requires you to make a decision or take action, but instead, you close that email and move on to reading the next email before you make any decisions.

But consider this: when we start opening up multiple emails, reading the contents, but not acting on it, we end up delaying the inevitable and we feel overwhelmed.

At some point, we become so overwhelmed with so many different things to do, that it even becomes difficult to decide which one to work on first.

A more effective approach is to treat the email like a block in Tetris. Review the email and quickly make a choice about what do to with it — reply, delete, delegate, or save as a reference. If you can complete the task within two minutes, then do so before even opening the next email.

This is basically the same point we’ve made over and over again: multitasking slows you down, and it’s better to work on one thing at a time. It’s just an interesting way to think about it. Like Tetris, you should take action on each item before you move onto the next thing. Hit the link to read the full post.

The Life Changing Time Management Technique You Can Learn From Tetris [Classically Trained]

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.