I recently started feeling too much was on my plate and in an effort to help me become more efficient, my boss asked me to keep track of all my tasks and record the time I require.
I am a new manager (previously a team lead) and get a lot of e-mails from across the company that require thinking, evaluating, formulating things in a way that sounds diplomatic and clear, and at the same time also timely.
My boss initially told me not to reply to every single e-mail and learn how prioritize, but then I started hearing complaints from other superiors about me not replying to e-mails fast enough or not following up after I say "I'll reply later..."
But the point is this: I do need a lot of time to write a good e-mail, to lay out and communicate properly. A critical e-mail may require almost an hour of thinking and formulating, a less critical one maybe 20-30 mins. Either way, most e-mails involve problem-solving. That's still a lot of time if in total I have only 8 hours to execute my work (mainly supervising, advising and also some hands-on work in my specific domain) - if I have to be honest, I spend about 50-60% of my time communicating.
In response to some of the answers below, I don't think I waste time on crafting, but more on researching inter-departmental processes, understanding and thinking about how to solve the problems.
But I am still a bit concerned that I am doing something wrong, and am especially worried about the complaints. I am used to always doing a good job, but maybe this is a weakness I need to address.
As a new manager with a lot of communication work on his/her plate (across the company, not just within my team), but also hands-on work that requires concentration, what can I do to improve my ability to prioritize?
Also, how can avoid replying to e-mails [or delaying] without being complained against?
EDIT: I clarified that my e-mails involve a lot of research and problem-solving. So it's not just crafting, BUT it's research/problem-solving + communicating in a way that other teams understand.