What if I could show you a means to shave 15 minutes per day off of the time you would spend on your email? Would this really make a difference in your life? Helping you save fifteen minutes daily would free up greater than 2,225 hours over the course of the next 25 years. That’s equal to 285 work days (2,225 hours divided by a typical 8 hour work day = 285 days). That’s more days than many people work in a whole year!
What could you accomplish with an extra year of work? Would that be worth spending fifteen minutes to find out the system I developed for processing your email?
If you’re like many people, you have challenges together with your email. Perhaps your in-box is usually supported. It might be so supported that you would be embarrassed to share with someone exactly how many messages are in there. Many of my clients (before they learned my system) experienced a backlog of several hundred messages inside their in-box. This caused them to spend time sorting through their messy in-box looking for messages which needed their attention.
But the problem I find with my clients is because they simply spend a long time on their email. I teach my clients to be more proactive and fewer reactive. This can help them to be more efficient, effective, and successful in their work and personal lives. Email supplies a huge temptation to get in a reactive mode. You may have majorly important, even time sensitive goals on your plate, yet you’re still taking time away from those goals to read through email messages about the most irrelevant things imaginable, and sometimes even taking time to answer those messages!
Lots of people, in an effort to escape the distraction caused by their email, decide to bury their heads in the sand by not processing their email for days, leading to a tremendous backlog that leaves them overwhelmed without any hope of ever fully catching up.
One of the better aspects of my system is that it’s VERY SIMPLE. It is then easy to learn and implement. However, you most likely have years of bad email habits which will need changing and old habits die hard. It’s likely to have a really strong commitment and some discipline to create the newest habits, but once they’re established, it will probably be simple and easy , natural.
Step One: Create two new folders named “*URGENT” and “*NOT URGENT”. Position the “*” in the beginning of the folder name so it will sort to the peak of the listing of folders. You could also us an underscore “_” or some other character for this function.
Step 2: Create folders to save emails which you might need later. If you have these folders, you might need to produce some new ones, or rename and reorganize the people you might have so that they make more sense.
Step Three: Learn to use the filter system in gmail tips and set up as many filters as possible for messages that you don’t have to see right away when they arrive. For instance, should you be on any email discussion lists, in which you get several messages each day or each week, produce a filter that automatically sorts all those messages into your mail folders. This way they are going to never turn up in your in-box and they will be neatly organized into folders.
Step 4: Make sure you have a good spam filter in place. Everyone receives plenty of spam these days, but possessing a good spam filter will eliminate the most of it.
Step 5: Learn my system for processing your in-box. This can be used process to empty your in-box quickly, even when it has numerous messages within 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 reply to an older message, just to later realize 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-by-one. Don’t ggxmmq to skip around your in-box in an effort to process the more important or urgent emails first. Which had been the existing method of doing things. Believe me, you may be much more efficient should you go through them within the order they may be sitting there within your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your goal at this stage of processing your in-box is to buy it to empty as well as sort your messages quickly and efficiently into folders for dealing with later. At a second stage you will be actually addressing the important messages.
Don’t open any messages that you don’t need to so that you can decide how to deal with them. Make an effort to choose based on the Sender as well as the Subject. If you need to open the content then scan it as fast as possible to make the decision on what to do with it. I’m not in love with those “preview windows” since they give a temptation to read through emails that you’re not actually ready to cope with yet. You may want to try turning your preview window off, even though this is not a critical part of my system.
Here are the four alternatives for what to do with each message. You may want to post these next to your computer while you’re learning the device and establishing new habits.
Delete It: The delete key should become your new best friend. Take joy in each message which you delete because it’s not important enough to obtain your attention. Think of all of the time you’re freeing up for other stuff. Delete, delete, delete. Your ultimate goal should be to delete up to 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 inside your *URGENT or *NOT URGENT folders – these have a different purpose. You may occasionally want to make a brand new folder to save your messages inside an organized fashion.
Under 2 Minutes – Get It Done: Should it be something you need to read, or something that is you need to read reply to, or something you would like to forward, and it can be done in just 2-minutes, then do it properly then. Then either delete or file your message immediately to get it out of your in-box. If it’s likely to take a lot more than 2 minutes, DON’T Practice It, instead carry out the following:
URGENT or otherwise not URGENT Boxes: In the event the messages needs reading, replying, or forwarding, and you estimate that it will require more than 2-minutes, move it to either your URGENT box or perhaps your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box ought to be for messages which need action within the next 24-2 days and also the NOT URGENT box is made for the others. Both of these boxes are for important messages only! If something is irrelevant, perhaps you shouldn’t be wasting your time onto it. Perhaps it should be deleted or saved in your folders (apart from the URGENT and NOT URGENT boxes) just in case you need it later. However, if you have trouble breaking your practice of addressing unimportant messages, then you might like to produce a third mail box called “*NOT IMPORTANT”.
Step 6: Make use of the above system to process your in-box to empty once or twice each day. It will be simpler in the event you stay on top of it daily. You should be able to practice it in less than fifteen minutes each day if you’re really after the system and not getting caught in the temptation to respond to messages that take greater than 2 minutes. If you fall behind, that will happen every once in awhile, don’t panic or drop the system together, instead, make use of the system to have caught up. You must be able to process an extremely supported in-box with countless messages very quickly. You will definately get faster when you practice by using this new method.
Step 7: Schedule one or two times each day to endure your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes and read, reply to, and forward messages. Make an effort 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 getting backed up, plan a more substantial period of time to process them and obtain 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. Previously, when you weren’t absolutely clear on what to do with information, you most likely just left it in your in-box. You’ll have to break that habit. When you process your in-box along with your URGENT and never URGENT boxes, make it your primary goal to choose powerfully what to do with each message – just decide, do something and don’t spend time.
Step 9: Break reactive habits. In the interests of being more proactive and less reactive in your lifetime, I would recommend that you simply shut off any “you’ve got mail” type reminders. In the daytime, when you visit your email program to be able to compose information to a person, resist the temptation to see your email while you’re at it. Instead, process your mail on the times you may have scheduled for the purpose. Doing your email in blocks of scheduled time will assist you to process your email more effectively and intelligently, and it will help you to remain focused on the rest of the important tasks you’re focusing on without getting distracted by the email on a regular basis. You might like to develop exceptions. For example, if somebody emails you about an appointment later on that day, you may want to read that email right away to determine if any action is necessary ahead of the appointment. However, make these types of “read immediately” emails the rare exception rather than the standard.
Step 10: Maintain your system. About once monthly, put in the effort to unsubscribe from any lists which are sending you mail that isn’t worth your attention any longer. Create any filters that could be helpful. Go through and delete any saved mail folders that aren’t relevant any more. Undergo your NOT URGENT box if it really has been backed up for quite a while and process it to empty. Examine your body and think about how it could be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take constantly you’re saving and take action meaningful with it! Spend it on the 20% from the actions that will get 80% in the results. If you don’t really know what I’m talking about, 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. I have almost all of my clients read through this book.