My email dilemma

The graph above shows how I spent my time last week (while in front of the laptop). Email gets by far the most time, which is fine as 90% of my meetings / requests / to-dos arrive that way. But despite spending so much time on email I don’t seem to be coping with all incoming emails that hit the inbox on any given workday. Priority Inbox is a life saviour and I read everything that gets in there, but I find it very difficult to respond to all emails.

Hence my email dilemma: should one answer to all emails or not? On the one side, when I send an email to someone I expect a response, and I believe everyone else thinks the same way. On the other side, many of the emails we get (recruiters, consultants, etc) are completely irrelevant and answering them wouldn’t go anywhere – so what’s the point?

To reply or not to reply, that is the question.