Have you started your year with a full inbox? Messages to be read, to be filed, to follow-up? I am usually really good with managing my inbox but over Christmas it got a little out of hand so I’ve just deleted 1014 messages and it feels great! Clear the clutter – clear the mind!
My inspiration came from reading #Graham Allcott’s book ‘How to be a Productivity Ninja”. His chapter on ‘Ninja Email’ had me hitting the delete button and organising more inbox rules.
If you want to take on the challenge here are some mindsets that helped me:
- Your inbox is only a place where emails land
- Don’t let your inbox nag you all day
- Don’t ‘check’ your emails, ‘process’ them
- What’s the worst thing that could happen if you hit ‘delete’
The most practical tip that I adopted was to separate my inbox into three sections:
- The processing folders – where ‘live’ work is kept (projects, active clients etc). This folder has three subsets: 1) Action 2) Read 3) Waiting (for action from another)
- The reference library – for old emails you want to refer to later
- The inbox – where new emails land. Setting up rules to have them land in one of the processing folders as above or directly into project/client folders
Another great tip was to control the emails them before they land. Use emails rules to easily manage where your emails ‘land’. Eg. If you receive ‘Start-up Smart Daily’ emails have them go directly to your ‘read’ folder. If you have a range of projects you are working on – have those go directly into that folder.
Unsubscribe from the emails or push notifications that distract you. If you must be tapped into the latest sales or can’t go past the deal of the day then create a rule and a folder so you can find them on your terms in your time.
Finally – be consistent – delete and process two or three times a day. The more you structure it into your day the less you will think about it and it becomes routine. After this first cleanse I am now focussed on getting my inbox to Zero – yes ZERO at the end of every day! And keeping it there…
Anyone want to join me on the challenge?