What if I could show you a way to shave 15 minutes per day off of the time you spend on your email? Would this really make a difference in your life? Helping you save fifteen minutes per day would free up a lot more than 2,225 hours over the course of the next 25 years. That’s equivalent to 285 work days (2,225 hours divided by a typical 8 hour work day = 285 days). That’s more days than most people work in a whole year!
What can you accomplish with the extra year of labor? Would that be worth spending fifteen minutes to learn the system I developed for processing your email?
If you’re like lots of people, you may have challenges along with your email. Perhaps your in-box is definitely supported. It could be so supported that you will be embarrassed to inform someone exactly how many messages are in there. A lot of my clients (before they learned my system) had a backlog of several hundred messages in their in-box. This caused those to spend time sorting through their messy in-box looking for messages which needed their attention.
However the problem I find with my clients is because they simply spend a lot of time on the email. I teach my clients to get more proactive and less reactive. This can help these to be a little more efficient, effective, and successful inside their work and personal lives. Email provides a huge temptation to be in a reactive mode. You may have majorly important, even time sensitive goals on your plate, yet you’re still taking time far from those goals to read email messages about the most irrelevant things imaginable, and often taking time to answer those messages!
Lots of people, in an attempt to escape the distraction brought on by their email, decide to bury their heads in the sand by not processing their email for several days, leading to a tremendous backlog that leaves them overwhelmed with no hope of ever fully catching up.
One of the better aspects of my method is that it’s Quite Simple. This will make it very easy to learn and implement. However, you probably have numerous years of bad email habits which will need changing and old habits die hard. It’s planning to take a really strong commitment and a few discipline to generate the brand new habits, but when they’re established, it will likely be simple and easy , natural.
Step One: Create two new folders named “*URGENT” and “*NOT URGENT”. Place the “*” in the beginning from the folder name to ensure that it will sort to the very top of the listing of folders. You could also us an underscore “_” or some 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 generate newer ones, or rename and reorganize those you may have therefore they make more sense.
Step 3: Learn how to utilize the filter system in gmail tips and set up up as many filters as you can for messages that you don’t need to see right away when they arrive. For example, in case you are on any email discussion lists, in which you get several messages daily or each week, make a filter that automatically sorts those messages into one of your mail folders. By doing this they will likely never show up inside your in-box and they can be neatly organized into folders.
Step 4: Be sure you have a good spam filter set up. Everyone receives a lot of spam today, but having a good spam filter will remove the greater part 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 has countless messages inside it. Have your messages sorted from newest to oldest and process the newest ones first. By doing this, when there is a discussion involving several messages, you won’t react to an older message, only to later realize that your response was not relevant to the present stage in the discussion. Process your messages in the order they are sorted – one at a time. Don’t ggxmmq to skip around your in-box so as to process the better important or urgent emails first. That was the existing way of doing things. Trust me, you will be a lot more efficient if you just go through them in the order they are sitting there in your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your ultimate goal at this point of processing your in-box is to get it to empty as well as sort your messages quickly and efficiently into folders for working with later. In a second stage you will be actually answering the important messages.
Don’t open any messages that you don’t have to in order to decide how to handle them. Attempt to make the decision based on the Sender and also the Subject. If you need to open your message then scan it as soon as possible to help make the decision on how to handle it. I’m not excited about those “preview windows” simply because they provide a temptation to see emails that you’re not actually ready to handle yet. You might like to try turning your preview window off, even though this is not just a critical part of my system.
Listed below are the 4 options for what to do with each message. You may want 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 best friend. Take joy in each message which you delete because it’s not important enough to receive your attention. Think of all time you’re freeing up for other stuff. Delete, delete, delete. Your primary goal must be to delete as much as possible.
File It: If you feel you may never need to read it or do anything whatsoever with it, but you may want it later for reasons unknown, then save it in your folders. However, don’t put it within your *URGENT or *NOT URGENT folders – these use a different purpose. You will occasionally have to make a brand new folder for saving your messages within an organized fashion.
Under 2 Minutes – Do It: If it is something you need to read, or something that is you need to read reply to, or something you want to forward, and you can accomplish it in less than 2-minutes, then do it right then. Then either delete or file the message immediately to get it from your in-box. If it’s planning to take greater than 2 minutes, DON’T Practice It, instead carry out the following:
URGENT or NOT URGENT Boxes: In the event the messages needs reading, replying, or forwarding, and you also estimate that it should take greater than 2-minutes, move it either to your URGENT box or your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box needs to be for messages which need action in the next 24-two days and also the NOT URGENT box is for the rest. Both these boxes are for important messages only! If something is not important, maybe you shouldn’t be squandering your time on it. Perhaps it needs to be deleted or saved in one of your folders (besides the URGENT and NOT URGENT boxes) in case you want it later. However, if you have trouble breaking your practice of responding to unimportant messages, then you may want to develop a third mail box called “*NOT IMPORTANT”.
Step 6: Use the above system to process your in-box to empty one or two times per day. It will be easier in the event you stay along with it daily. You should be able to get it done in under a quarter-hour each day if you’re really pursuing the system and not getting caught inside the temptation to respond to messages that take greater than 2 minutes. Should you fall behind, which will happen every once in awhile, don’t panic or drop the device together, instead, make use of the system to obtain swept up. You must be able to process a really supported in-box with numerous messages very quickly. You will definately get faster when you practice applying this new method.
Step 7: Schedule 1 or 2 times each day to undergo your URGENT and never URGENT boxes and read, reply to, and forward messages. Make an effort to get these boxes to empty. Perform the URGENT box first, then move onto the NOT URGENT box. On days you have almost no time, don’t bother using the NOT URGENT box. If these boxes begin to get backed up, schedule a more substantial length of time to process them and acquire trapped.
Step 8: Figure out how to choose powerfully. This system doesn’t leave room for you to be indecisive – especially if you are processing your in-box. Previously, once you weren’t sure of what to do with a note, you probably just left it in your in-box. You’ll need to break that habit. Once you process your in-box and your URGENT and NOT URGENT boxes, allow it to be your ultimate goal to pick powerfully what to do with each message – just decide, do something and don’t spend time.
Step 9: Break reactive habits. In the interest of being more proactive and much less reactive in your life, I would recommend 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 a note to a person, resist the temptation to read through your email while you’re at it. Instead, process your mail on the times you have scheduled for that purpose. Doing all of your email in blocks of scheduled time will help you process your email more efficiently and intelligently, plus it will help you stay focused on the rest of the important tasks you’re focusing on without getting distracted from your email frequently. You might want to earn some exceptions. For instance, if a person emails you about a consultation later on that day, you may want to read that email straight away to determine if any action is necessary before the appointment. However, make these types of “read straight away” emails the rare exception and never the standard.
Step 10: Keep your system. About once monthly, make the effort to unsubscribe from the lists which can be sending you mail that isn’t worth your attention any longer. Create any filters that would be helpful. Go through and delete any saved mail folders that aren’t relevant any more. Proceed through your NOT URGENT box if it really has been supported for some time and process it to empty. Examine your system and think about how it could be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take all the time you’re saving and do something meaningful along with it! Spend it on the 20% in the actions that will get 80% in the results. In the event you don’t understand what I’m speaking about, read my newsletter on the 80/20 rule
If you want my email system, you will probably love the publication, “Getting Things Done, The skill of Stress Free Productivity” by David Allen. We have almost all of my clients look at this book.