This might not be a surprise to most modern employees, but a study has just proven that having to answer a flood of emails stops your "real" work in its tracks.

According to researchers from Michigan State University, in a study  published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, while some may see email as making them more productive, the opposite is likely true -- particularly for managers.

The scientists tracked dozens of managers, and logged what they got accomplished throughout the day; the scientists found that having to stop what they're doing and answer emails actually makes them get less done, and makes them worse leaders for their subordinates.

MSU management professor Russell Johnson was the lead researcher for the study. He puts it plainly in a press release: Like most tools, email is useful but it can become disruptive and even damaging if used excessively or inappropriately. When managers are the ones trying to recover from email interruptions, they fail to meet their goals, they neglect manager-responsibilities and their subordinates don't have the leadership behavior they need to thrive."

So if you're not a boss -- but need something from yours -- maybe ask him or her in person.