BBC Future has a pretty decent "psychological self-defence course" to avoid email overload:
Here’s a pretty safe assumption to make: you probably feel like you’re inundated with email, don’t you? It's a constant trickle that threatens to become a flood. Building up, it is always nagging you to check it. You put up spam filters and create sorting systems, but it’s never quite enough. And that’s because the big problems with email are not just technical – they're psychological. If we can understand these we'll all be a bit better prepared to manage email, rather than let it manage us.
For this psychological self-defence course, we're going to cover very briefly four fundamental aspects of human reasoning. These are features built into how the human mind works. If you know about them, you can watch out for them and – most importantly – catch yourself when one of these tendencies is leading you astray.
The idea that the problem with email isn't just (or primarily) a volume or processing problem that can be solved through better filtering or data management, but a psychological one that needs to be solved by changing habits and mental rewards, is one that's very much in sync with contemplative computing. Much of time the solution to digital problems isn't faster technology, but more mindful behavior.