What if I could show you a method to shave 15 minutes each day off of the time you would spend on your email? Would this really make a difference in your life? Saving you fifteen minutes daily would free up greater than 2,225 hours over the course of the next twenty-five years. That is equivalent to 285 work days (2,225 hours divided by a typical 8 hour workday = 285 days). That’s more days than many people work in a whole year!
What would you accomplish having an extra year of work? Would that be worth spending 15 minutes to understand the system I developed for processing your email?
If you’re like many people, you may have challenges together with your email. Perhaps your in-box is usually supported. It may be so backed up that you will be embarrassed to tell someone just how many messages are in there. A lot of my clients (before they learned my system) had a backlog of countless hundred messages in their in-box. This caused them to spend time sorting through their messy in-box trying to find messages which needed their attention.
But the main problem I find with my clients is they simply spend a long time on their email. I teach my clients to be more proactive and less reactive. This can help them to become more efficient, effective, and successful inside their work and personal lives. Email offers a huge temptation to get in a reactive mode. You might have majorly important, even time sensitive goals on your plate, yet you’re still spending time away from those goals to read through email messages regarding the most irrelevant things imaginable, and even spending time to respond to those messages!
Many individuals, so as to escape the distraction caused by their email, elect to bury their heads in the sand by not processing their email for several days, resulting in a tremendous backlog that leaves them overwhelmed without hope of ever fully catching up.
One of the better things about my method is that it’s VERY SIMPLE. This will make it simple to learn and implement. However, you almost certainly have many years of bad email habits that can need changing and old habits die hard. It’s planning to take a really strong commitment plus some discipline to produce the new habits, but once they’re established, it will be simple and natural.
Step One: Create two new folders named “*URGENT” and “*NOT URGENT”. Position the “*” in the beginning from the folder name to ensure that it will sort to the top of your list of folders. You could also us an underscore “_” or another character for this specific purpose.
Step Two: Create folders for saving emails that you might need later. If you currently have these folders, you may want to generate newer ones, or rename and reorganize the people you have so that they make more sense.
Step 3: Learn to use the filter system in gmail tips and set up as many filters as is possible for messages that you simply don’t need to see straight away when they arrive. As an example, in case 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 those messages into one of the mail folders. In this way they will likely never show up within your in-box and they can be neatly organized into folders.
Step 4: Be sure you have a great spam filter in place. Everyone receives a lot of spam nowadays, but having a good spam filter will eliminate the majority of it.
Step 5: Learn my system for processing your in-box. This can be used process to empty your in-box quickly, even if it has hundreds of messages within it. Have your messages sorted from newest to oldest and process the latest ones first. By doing this, if you have a discussion involving several messages, you won’t respond to an older message, only to later realize that your response had not been relevant to the present stage from 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 greater important or urgent emails first. Which had been the previous means of doing things. Believe me, you will be far more efficient in the event you just go through them within the order they may be sitting there inside your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your goal at this time of processing your in-box is to buy it to empty and to sort your messages quickly and efficiently into folders for coping with later. In a second stage you may be actually answering the most important messages.
Don’t open any messages that you don’t have to to be able to decide how to deal with them. Try to decide based on the Sender and also the Subject. If you need to open the content then scan it as quickly as possible in order to make the decision on how to handle it. I’m not crazy about those “preview windows” simply because they offer a temptation to read through emails that you’re not actually ready to cope with yet. You might want to try turning your preview window off, even though this is not a critical part of my system.
Listed here are the 4 choices for how to handle each message. You may want to post these next to your pc while you’re learning the program and establishing new habits.
Delete It: The delete key should become your new closest friend. Take joy in each message that you delete because it’s simply not important enough to receive your attention. Think of all of the time you’re freeing up for other things. Delete, delete, delete. Your goal ought to be to delete up to possible.
File It: If you think you may never must read it or do anything by using it, but you might need it later for some reason, then save it in your folders. However, don’t use it within your *URGENT or *NOT URGENT folders – these possess a different purpose. You may occasionally want to make a new folder for saving your messages in an organized fashion.
Lower Than 2 Minutes – Practice It: When it is something you would like to read, or anything you would like to read reply to, or something that is you need to forward, and you can do it in less than 2-minutes, then do it right then. Then either delete or file the message immediately to get it out of your in-box. If it’s planning to take a lot more than 2 minutes, DON’T Get It Done, instead carry out the following:
URGENT or otherwise 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 perhaps your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box should be for messages which need action within the next 24-48 hours and also the NOT URGENT box is perfect for the rest. These two boxes are for important messages only! If something is irrelevant, perhaps you shouldn’t be wasting your time on it. Perhaps it ought to be deleted or saved in your folders (apart from the URGENT rather than URGENT boxes) in case you require it later. However, should you have a problem breaking your habit of addressing 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 each day. It will be easier if you stay on the top of it daily. You will be able to get it done in less than fifteen minutes each day if you’re really following the system and never getting caught inside the temptation to answer messages that take greater than 2 minutes. In the event you get behind, which will happen every now and then, don’t panic or drop the program altogether, instead, make use of the system to have swept up. You will be able to process a very backed up in-box with numerous messages very quickly. You will get faster as you practice applying this new method.
Step 7: Schedule one or two times per day to go through your URGENT and never URGENT boxes and study, reply to, and forward messages. Try to get these boxes to empty. Do the URGENT box first, then move onto the NOT URGENT box. On days which you have very little time, don’t bother with the NOT URGENT box. If these boxes start getting supported, schedule a more substantial period of time to process them and obtain caught up.
Step 8: Figure out how to choose powerfully. This system doesn’t leave room so that you can be indecisive – especially when you are processing your in-box. In the past, whenever you weren’t certain of how to deal with a note, you probably just left it within your in-box. You’ll have to break that habit. When you process your in-box and your URGENT and never URGENT boxes, ensure it is your ultimate goal to select powerfully what to do with each message – just decide, take action and don’t spend time.
Step 9: Break reactive habits. In the interest of being more proactive and much less reactive in your own life, I would recommend that you turn off any “you’ve got mail” type reminders. In the daytime, when you visit your email program so that you can compose information to a person, resist the temptation to read your email while you’re at it. Instead, process your mail at the times you may have scheduled for that purpose. Performing your email in blocks of scheduled time will help you to process your email better and intelligently, and it will help you stay focused on all of those other important tasks you’re focusing on without getting distracted from your email regularly. You might want to earn some exceptions. As an example, if someone emails you about an 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 types of “read right away” emails the rare exception and never the standard.
Step 10: Sustain your system. About once monthly, make the effort to unsubscribe from any lists that are sending you mail that isn’t worth your attention any more. Create any filters that might be helpful. Go through and delete any saved mail folders that aren’t relevant any longer. Proceed through your NOT URGENT box if it really has been backed up for quite a while and process it to empty. Examine your system and take into consideration how it could be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take all the time you’re saving and make a move meaningful with it! Spend it on the 20% from the actions which will get 80% from the results. If you don’t understand what I’m referring to, read my newsletter on the 80/20 rule
If you want my email system, you will probably love the ebook, “Getting Things Done, The skill of Relaxed Productivity” by David Allen. We have the majority of my clients read this book.