The first time audit I ever did revealed I was spending about half my work time on email. This was troubling to me, considering that much of my time on email was spent nervously scrolling back and forth in a state of overwhelm. This inspired my first leap into studying personal productivity and time management, which has involved negotiating and renegotiating my relationship to email and other work habits over the course of the years. I'm confident I could not have achieved what I've achieved without having broken the stranglehold of habits that didn't work and introduced mindfulness and choice into my work life.
There are costs to the presence, choice, efficiency and effectiveness I will experience as a result of this shift. People have grown to expect quick responses from me and may be disappointed if they don't here from me.There will still certainly be times when responding to a time-sensitive email will influence a social or work situation. In order to readjust people's expectations and also encourage them to contact me by phone for urgent matters, I follow Ferris' suggestion and use an auto-response that explains my new policy.