What if I could show you a method to shave fifteen minutes per day off of the time you may spend on your email? Would this make a difference in your life? Saving you fifteen minutes daily would free up a lot more than 2,225 hours over the course of the next twenty-five years. That’s equivalent to 285 work days (2,225 hours divided by a typical 8 hour workday = 285 days). That’s more days than most people work in a whole year!
What would you accomplish with an extra year of employment? Would that be worth spending 15 minutes to find out the program I developed for processing your email?
If you’re like most people, you might have challenges with your email. Perhaps your in-box is usually supported. It could be so supported that you would be embarrassed to inform someone exactly how many messages will be in there. Many of my clients (before they learned my system) enjoyed a backlog of several hundred messages within their in-box. This caused those to spend time sorting through their messy in-box trying to find messages which needed their attention.
But the problem I find with my clients is that they simply spend too much time on their email. I teach my clients to be more proactive and fewer reactive. This helps those to be a little more efficient, effective, and successful in their work and private lives. Email supplies a huge temptation to be in a reactive mode. You might have majorly important, even time sensitive goals on your plate, yet you’re still taking time from those goals to see email messages concerning the most irrelevant things imaginable, and even spending time to respond to those messages!
Lots of people, so as to escape the distraction due to their email, elect to bury their heads in the sand by not processing their email for many days, resulting in a massive backlog that leaves them overwhelmed with no hope of ever fully catching up.
One of the better things about my method is that it’s VERY SIMPLE. This makes it easy to learn and implement. However, you probably have years of bad email habits that can need changing and old habits die hard. It’s going to require a really strong commitment and a few discipline to produce the newest habits, but when they’re established, it will likely be simple and natural.
Step One: Create two new folders named “*URGENT” and “*NOT URGENT”. Put the “*” initially from the folder name so it will sort to the top of your list of folders. You may also us an underscore “_” or another character for this purpose.
Step 2: Create folders for saving emails that you might need later. If you already have these folders, you may want to produce some new ones, or rename and reorganize those you might have so that they make more sense.
Step Three: Learn to utilize the filter system in gmail tips and set up as many filters as possible for messages which you don’t must see straight away when they arrive. As an example, if you are on any email discussion lists, in which you get several messages per day or each week, produce a filter that automatically sorts all of those messages into your mail folders. By doing this they are going to never turn up inside your in-box and they can be neatly organized into folders.
Step 4: Make sure you have a good spam filter in place. Everyone receives lots of spam these days, but possessing a good spam filter will remove the most of it.
Step 5: Learn my system for processing your in-box. This can be used process to empty your in-box very quickly, even if it has hundreds of messages inside it. Have your messages sorted from newest to oldest and process the most recent ones first. In this way, if you have a discussion involving several messages, you won’t reply to an older message, just to later find that your response had not been relevant to the current stage in the discussion. Process your messages in the order they have been sorted – one at a time. Don’t ggxmmq to skip around your in-box so as to process the more important or urgent emails first. That was the existing way of doing things. Trust me, you will end up a lot more efficient in the event you just go through them within the order these are sitting there inside your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your ultimate goal at this stage of processing your in-box is to buy it to empty and also to sort your messages efficiently and quickly into folders for dealing with later. In a second stage you will end up actually answering the important messages.
Don’t open any messages that you don’t must in order to decide how to deal with them. Attempt to make the decision based on the Sender and also the Subject. When you have to open the message then scan it as quickly as possible to help make the choice on how to deal with it. I’m not crazy about those “preview windows” because they provide a temptation to read through emails that you’re not actually ready to cope with yet. You might like to try turning your preview window off, even though this is not a critical part of my system.
Listed below are the 4 alternatives for how to handle each message. You might want to post these next to your computer while you’re learning the program and establishing new habits.
Delete It: The delete key should become your brand-new closest friend. Take joy in each message which you delete because it’s simply not important enough to receive your attention. Think of all the time you’re freeing up for other stuff. Delete, delete, delete. Your goal ought to be to delete as much as possible.
File It: If you think you might never have to read it or do anything whatsoever with it, but you may want it later for reasons unknown, then save it in one of the folders. However, don’t use it in your *URGENT or *NOT URGENT folders – these have a different purpose. You may occasionally have to make a new folder for saving your messages in an organized fashion.
Lower Than 2 Minutes – Do It: If it is something you want to read, or something you need to read reply to, or something that is you need to forward, and you can do it in just 2-minutes, then do it right then. Then either delete or file the message immediately to get it away from your in-box. If it’s going to take a lot more than 2 minutes, DON’T Practice It, instead perform the following:
URGENT or NOT URGENT Boxes: In the event the messages needs reading, replying, or forwarding, and also you estimate that it should take a lot more than 2-minutes, move it either to your URGENT box or maybe your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box ought to be for messages that require action within the next 24-two days as well as the NOT URGENT box is perfect for the others. Both these boxes are for important messages only! If something is irrelevant, maybe you shouldn’t be wasting your time onto it. Perhaps it ought to be deleted or saved in one of your folders (besides the URGENT rather than URGENT boxes) in case you want it later. However, in the event you have trouble breaking your practice of responding to unimportant messages, then you may want to create a third mail box called “*NOT IMPORTANT”.
Step 6: Use the above system to process your in-box to empty a couple of times each day. It will be simpler should you stay on the top of it daily. You will be able to get it done in less than a quarter-hour per day if you’re really after the system and not getting caught inside the temptation to answer messages that take greater than 2 minutes. In the event you get behind, that will happen every now and then, don’t panic or drop the program all together, instead, make use of the system to have swept up. You should be able to process an extremely supported in-box with hundreds of messages quickly. You will definitely get faster as you practice applying this new method.
Step 7: Schedule 1 or 2 times each day to endure your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes and browse, reply to, and forward messages. Aim to get these boxes to empty. Perform the URGENT box first, then start the NOT URGENT box. On days which you have very little time, don’t bother with all the NOT URGENT box. If these boxes start to get supported, plan a more substantial length of time to process them and acquire caught up.
Step 8: Learn how to choose powerfully. This technique doesn’t leave room for you to be indecisive – especially when you find yourself processing your in-box. In the past, when you weren’t sure of what to do with information, you probably just left it within your in-box. You’ll must break that habit. Whenever you process your in-box as well as your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes, ensure it is your goal to choose powerfully how to handle each message – just decide, do something and don’t spend time.
Step 9: Break reactive habits. In the interest of being more proactive and less reactive in your life, I suggest that you shut off any “you’ve got mail” type reminders. During the day, when you visit your email program so that you can compose a message to someone, resist the temptation to read your email while you’re at it. Instead, process your mail in the times you have scheduled for the purpose. Performing your email in blocks of scheduled time will help you process your email more effectively and intelligently, and it will help you stay focused on all of those other important tasks you’re working on without getting distracted from your email regularly. You might like to earn some exceptions. For instance, if a person emails you about a consultation later that day, you may want to read that email immediately to determine if any action is needed prior to the appointment. However, make these types of “read immediately” emails the rare exception rather than the standard.
Step 10: Keep your system. About once monthly, make the effort to unsubscribe from any lists which can be sending you mail that isn’t worth your attention any more. Create any filters that could be helpful. Go through and delete any saved mail folders that aren’t relevant any longer. Proceed through your NOT URGENT box if this has been backed up for quite a while and process it to empty. Examine your body and consider how it may be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take constantly you’re saving and take action meaningful along with it! Spend it on the 20% in the actions which will get 80% of the results. Should you don’t know what I’m referring to, read my newsletter on the 80/20 rule
If you like my email system, you will likely love the ebook, “Getting Things Done, The skill of Stress Free Productivity” by David Allen. We have most of my clients look at this book.