It’s safe to say most professionals believe that email is taking over their life, and it’s not uncommon to spend the better part of an hour crafting the best, most streamlined message possible. We’re all big fans of keeping emails short and sweet, yet productive, so imagine my delight when I came across a simple rule that can solve this problem: Commit to making every email five sentences or fewer.

There’s something about having a true limit to ensure you really stick to your goal. As explains, “Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, we count sentences instead.”

Focus on keeping replies brief, but polite.