What if I could show you a way to shave 15 minutes per day off of the time you may spend on your email? Would this really make a difference in your life? Helping you save a quarter-hour each day would free up greater than 2,225 hours over the course of the next twenty-five years. That is equal to 285 work days (2,225 hours divided by a typical 8 hour workday = 285 days). That’s more days than a lot of people work in a whole year!
What can you accomplish with an extra year of labor? Would that be worth spending 15 minutes to find out the program I produced for processing your email?
If you’re like lots of people, you have challenges with your email. Perhaps your in-box is definitely backed up. It might be so supported that you will be embarrassed to inform someone how many messages are in there. A lot of my clients (before they learned my system) enjoyed a backlog of countless hundred messages in their in-box. This caused these to spend your time sorting through their messy in-box searching for messages which needed their attention.
But the problem I find with my clients is because they simply spend too much time on their own email. I teach my clients to get more proactive and less reactive. This can help them to become more efficient, effective, and successful within their work and personal lives. Email provides a huge temptation to get in a reactive mode. You might have majorly important, even time sensitive goals on your own plate, yet you’re still taking time from those goals to read email messages regarding the most irrelevant things imaginable, and often spending time to answer those messages!
Many individuals, in an attempt to escape the distraction caused by their email, elect to bury their heads within the sand by not processing their email for many days, resulting in an enormous backlog that leaves them overwhelmed with no hope of ever fully catching up.
One of the best aspects of my system is that it’s Quite Simple. This makes it simple to learn and implement. However, you probably have years of bad email habits that can need changing and old habits die hard. It’s likely to have a really strong commitment and a few discipline to produce the brand new habits, but once they’re established, it will probably be simple and natural.
Step 1: Create two new folders named “*URGENT” and “*NOT URGENT”. Place the “*” in the beginning in the folder name so that it will sort to the very top of your list of folders. You may also us an underscore “_” or any other character for this purpose.
Step 2: Create folders to save emails that you might need later. If you already have these folders, you might need to produce new ones, or rename and reorganize those you may have therefore they make more sense.
Step Three: Learn how to use the filter system in how to rename email and set up as many filters as you can for messages that you simply don’t must see immediately when they arrive. For example, if you are on any email discussion lists, where you get several messages per day or per week, make a filter that automatically sorts all of those messages into one of the mail folders. In this way they are going to never appear in your in-box and they will be neatly organized into folders.
Step 4: Be sure you have a good spam filter in position. Everyone receives plenty of spam today, 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 though it provides numerous messages within it. Have your messages sorted from newest to oldest and process the latest ones first. By doing this, if there is a discussion involving several messages, you won’t react to an older message, only to later find that your response had not been relevant to the current stage from the discussion. Process your messages within the order they are 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. Which was the old method of doing things. Believe me, you may be a lot more efficient in the event you go through them in the order these are sitting there within your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your ultimate goal at this point of processing your in-box is to obtain it to empty and to sort your messages efficiently and quickly into folders for dealing with later. In a second stage you may be actually responding to the important messages.
Don’t open any messages that you simply don’t have to so that you can decide what to do with them. Try to decide based on the Sender and also the Subject. If you need to open the message then scan it as fast as possible to help make the choice on how to deal with it. I’m not in love with those “preview windows” simply because they offer a temptation to see emails that you’re not actually ready to deal with yet. You might want to try turning your preview window off, even though this is not just a critical a part of my system.
Listed below are the 4 alternatives for what to do with each message. You might like to post these close to your computer while you’re learning the program and establishing new habits.
Delete It: The delete key should become your brand-new companion. Take joy in each message that you delete because it’s just not important enough to receive your attention. Think of all the time you’re freeing up for other stuff. Delete, delete, delete. Your primary goal ought to be to delete as much as possible.
File It: If you believe you might never have to read it or do anything along with it, but you will need it later for some reason, then save it in your folders. However, don’t put it in your *URGENT or *NOT URGENT folders – these possess a different purpose. You may occasionally want to make a new folder for saving your messages inside an organized fashion.
Under 2 Minutes – Get It Done: If it is something you would like to read, or anything you need to read reply to, or anything you need to forward, and you can do it in under 2-minutes, then do it right then. Then either delete or file your message immediately to have it away from your in-box. If it’s planning to take a lot more than 2 minutes, DON’T DO IT, instead do the following:
URGENT or otherwise URGENT Boxes: If the messages needs reading, replying, or forwarding, and you estimate that it should take greater than 2-minutes, move it to either your URGENT box or your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box ought to be for messages that need action within the next 24-two days and the NOT URGENT box is made for the rest. Both these boxes are for important messages only! If something is irrelevant, maybe you shouldn’t be wasting your time onto it. Perhaps it should be deleted or saved in one of your folders (apart from the URGENT rather than URGENT boxes) in case you need it later. However, if you have trouble breaking your practice of addressing 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 once or twice daily. It will be easier should you stay along with it daily. You should be able to do it in just 15 minutes each day if you’re really following the system and never getting caught inside the temptation to respond to messages that take greater than 2 minutes. In the event you fall behind, which will happen every once in awhile, don’t panic or drop the device together, instead, use the system to obtain swept up. You will be able to process a very supported in-box with numerous messages very quickly. You will get faster as you practice using this new method.
Step 7: Schedule a couple of times daily to go through your URGENT and NOT URGENT boxes and browse, reply to, and forward messages. Try to get these boxes to empty. Carry out the URGENT box first, then begin the NOT URGENT box. On days which you have very little time, don’t bother using the NOT URGENT box. If these boxes start getting backed up, schedule a more substantial period of time to process them and obtain trapped.
Step 8: Learn to choose powerfully. This system doesn’t leave room for you to be indecisive – especially if you are processing your in-box. Previously, when you weren’t absolutely clear on how to handle a message, you almost certainly just left it inside your in-box. You’ll need to break that habit. Once you process your in-box and your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes, make it your ultimate goal to select powerfully how to handle each message – just decide, take action and don’t spend time.
Step 9: Break reactive habits. In the interest of being more proactive and fewer reactive in your own life, I suggest that you shut off any “you’ve got mail” type reminders. During the day, when you visit your email program to be able to compose information to someone, resist the temptation to read through your email while you’re at it. Instead, process your mail at the times you might have scheduled for that purpose. Performing your email in blocks of scheduled time will help you to process your email better and intelligently, plus it will assist you to remain focused on the rest of the important tasks you’re concentrating on without getting distracted by your email on a regular basis. You might want to earn some exceptions. As an example, if somebody emails you about a scheduled appointment later that day, you might like to read that email immediately to figure out if any action is required ahead of the appointment. However, make these kinds of “read straight away” emails the rare exception rather than the standard.
Step 10: Keep your system. About once monthly, put in the effort to unsubscribe from your lists that are sending you mail that isn’t worth your attention any more. Create any filters that would be helpful. Go through and delete any saved mail folders that aren’t relevant any more. Undergo your NOT URGENT box if it has been backed up for a while and process it to empty. Examine your body and consider how it may be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take on a regular basis you’re saving and take action meaningful with it! Spend it on the 20% in the actions that are going to get 80% of the results. If you don’t really know what I’m talking about, read my newsletter on the 80/20 rule
If you want my email system, you will likely love the ebook, “Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress Free Productivity” by David Allen. We have almost all of my clients look at this book.