What if I could show you a means to shave 15 minutes each day off of the time you spend on your email? Would this make a difference in your life? Saving you a quarter-hour each day would free up a lot more 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 many people work in a whole year!
What would you accomplish with an extra year of work? Would that be worth spending fifteen minutes to understand 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 backed up. It may be so supported that you will be embarrassed to tell someone exactly how many messages will be in there. A lot of my clients (before they learned my system) had a backlog of countless 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.
Nevertheless the problem I find with my clients is that they simply spend a lot of time on their own email. I teach my clients to become more proactive and less reactive. It will help those to be a little more efficient, effective, and successful in 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 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!
Many people, so as to escape the distraction due to their email, elect to bury their heads within the sand by not processing their email for days, resulting in a massive backlog that leaves them overwhelmed without hope of ever fully catching up.
One of the best aspects of my method is that it’s Quite Simple. This makes it simple to learn and implement. However, you most likely have numerous years of bad email habits that will need changing and old habits die hard. It’s likely to take a really strong commitment plus some discipline to produce the new habits, but when 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 that it will sort to the peak of your own list of folders. You could also us an underscore “_” or any other character for this purpose.
Step Two: Create folders to save emails which you may need later. If you have these folders, you might need to create new ones, or rename and reorganize the ones you may have therefore they make more sense.
Step 3: Learn to make use of the filter system in change email subject gmail and set as many filters as possible for messages which you 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 each day or a week, produce a filter that automatically sorts all those messages into your mail folders. This way they will likely never turn up inside your in-box and they can be neatly organized into folders.
Step 4: Ensure you have a great spam filter in position. Everyone receives a lot of spam nowadays, 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 rapidly, even though it provides countless messages in it. Have your messages sorted from newest to oldest and process the most recent ones first. By doing this, when there is a conversation involving several messages, you won’t respond to an older message, only to later find that your response had not been relevant to the present stage of the discussion. Process your messages within the order they are sorted – one at a time. Don’t ggxmmq to skip around your in-box in an effort to process the greater important or urgent emails first. Which was the previous method of doing things. Trust me, you will end up a lot more efficient should you just go through them in the order they are sitting there in your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your goal at this stage of processing your in-box is to get it to empty and also to sort your messages quickly and efficiently into folders for working with later. At a second stage you may be actually responding to the key messages.
Don’t open any messages that you don’t have to to be able to decide how to handle them. Make an effort to choose based on the Sender as well as the Subject. If you have to open the message then scan it as quickly as possible to help make the decision on how to deal with it. I’m not crazy 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, although this is not just a critical a part of my system.
Here are the 4 options for how to deal with each message. You might like to post these close to your pc 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 that you delete because it’s just not important enough to get your attention. Think of all the time you’re freeing up for other things. Delete, delete, delete. Your goal must be to delete as many as possible.
File It: If you think you may never have to read it or do just about anything with it, but you might need it later for reasons unknown, then save it in one of your folders. However, don’t use it in 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 in an organized fashion.
Less Than 2 Minutes – Get It Done: When it is something you would like to read, or something you want to read reply to, or something that is you would like to forward, and you can accomplish it in less than 2-minutes, then do it properly then. Then either delete or file the content 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: When the messages needs reading, replying, or forwarding, and you also estimate that it will require a lot more than 2-minutes, move it to either your URGENT box or perhaps your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box needs to be for messages that need action inside the next 24-48 hours and the NOT URGENT box is perfect for the rest. These two boxes are for important messages only! If something is irrelevant, maybe you shouldn’t be squandering your time on it. Perhaps it ought to be deleted or saved in one of your folders (besides the URGENT and never URGENT boxes) in the event you require it later. However, if you have a problem breaking your habit of answering unimportant messages, then you may want 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 should you stay on top of 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 answer messages that take more than 2 minutes. In the event you get behind, that will happen from time to time, don’t panic or drop the device all together, instead, use the system to get trapped. You will be able to process an extremely supported in-box with hundreds of messages quickly. You will definately get faster while you practice applying this new method.
Step 7: Schedule a couple of times daily to undergo your URGENT and never URGENT boxes and browse, reply to, and forward messages. Make an effort to get these boxes to empty. Do the URGENT box first, then move onto the NOT URGENT box. On days which you have almost no time, don’t bother using the NOT URGENT box. If these boxes start getting supported, plan a more substantial amount of time to process them and get swept up.
Step 8: Learn how to choose powerfully. This method doesn’t leave room for you to be indecisive – especially if you are processing your in-box. In the past, whenever you weren’t sure of how to handle a note, you most likely just left it within your in-box. You’ll need to break that habit. When you process your in-box and your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes, ensure it is your ultimate goal to choose powerfully how to handle each message – just decide, take action and don’t waste time.
Step 9: Break reactive habits. For the sake of being more proactive and fewer reactive in your lifetime, I would recommend that you switch off any “you’ve got mail” type reminders. During the day, when you go to your email program so that you can compose information to a person, 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 the purpose. Performing your email in blocks of scheduled time will help you process your email more effectively and intelligently, and it will assist you to remain focused on all the other important tasks you’re concentrating on without getting distracted by the email regularly. You might want to make some exceptions. As an example, if someone emails you about a consultation later that day, you might want to read that email right away to determine if any action is necessary before the appointment. However, make these kinds of “read straight away” emails the rare exception rather than the norm.
Step 10: Sustain your system. About once monthly, take the time to unsubscribe from your 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 further. Proceed through your NOT URGENT box if it has been supported for a while and process it to empty. Examine your body and think about how it can be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take on a regular basis you’re saving and take action meaningful by using it! Spend it on the 20% in the actions which will get 80% from the results. If you don’t really know what I’m speaking about, read my newsletter on the 80/20 rule
If you like my email system, you will probably love the book, “Getting Things Done, The ability of Relaxed Productivity” by David Allen. We have almost all of my clients read this book.