- Check personal email and RSS feeds exactly once per day, soon after returning from work so it's not 3:00 and you're going "oh crap, I haven't responded to emails yet."
- No reading IvoryTower during the day except once around 10:00 am when you read the news.
I don't feel so much that I've been wasting my time; more just that I'd have more time to do things if I consolidated a bit. I'll still read and respond to every email and post, but I'll do it all at once. I used to check my POP server every five minutes for new mail, and respond to it immediately. That was before I started getting so much spam. I've increased that timespan over the years; I'm now at 30 minutes per check, which basically means that I check Outlook every 30 minutes I'm at the computer and not playing a full-screen game, because I can't even imagine a 30-minute span in which I didn't get at least 10-20 emails. There's no real reason for me to check my mail periodically; urgent issues do not come through personal email. They come through phone calls and IMs. I spend a huge portion of my workdays just reading and responding to email; I want to minimize that at home.
In fact, in writing this post, I've decided that I'm going to do it. I'm turning off my email notifier program right now.