What if I could show you a way to shave 15 minutes per day off of the time you may spend on your email? Would this really make a difference in your life? Helping you save 15 minutes per day would free up a lot more than 2,225 hours over the course of the next 25 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 a lot of people work in a whole year!
What can you accomplish having an extra year of employment? Would that be worth spending fifteen minutes to learn the device I produced for processing your email?
If you’re like lots of people, you might have challenges together with your email. Perhaps your in-box is definitely supported. It might be so backed up that you would be embarrassed to inform someone exactly how many messages will be in there. Most of my clients (before they learned my system) experienced a backlog of several hundred messages within their in-box. This caused them to waste time sorting through their messy in-box trying to find messages which needed their attention.
However the main problem I find with my clients is that they simply spend a lot of time on their email. I teach my clients to be more proactive and less reactive. It will help them to be a little more efficient, effective, and successful in their work and private lives. Email supplies a huge temptation to become in a reactive mode. You may have majorly important, even time sensitive goals on your own plate, yet you’re still spending time from those goals to see email messages about the most irrelevant things imaginable, and sometimes even taking time to answer those messages!
Many individuals, in an attempt to escape the distraction caused by their email, elect to bury their heads within the sand by not processing their email for days, leading to a massive backlog that leaves them overwhelmed without hope of ever fully catching up.
Among the best aspects of my method is that it’s Very Easy. It is then very easy to learn and implement. However, you almost certainly have years of bad email habits which will need changing and old habits die hard. It’s planning to require a really strong commitment and some discipline to produce the new habits, but once they’re established, it will likely be easy and natural.
Step 1: Create two new folders named “*URGENT” and “*NOT URGENT”. Place the “*” initially in the folder name to ensure that it will sort to the peak of your own list of folders. You might 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 already have these folders, you may want to create some new ones, or rename and reorganize those you may have so they make more sense.
Step Three: Learn to use the filter system in how to change email subject without creating new thread and set up as many filters as you can for messages which you don’t must see right away whenever they arrive. For instance, in case you are on any email discussion lists, where you get several messages per day or each week, create a filter that automatically sorts all of those messages into one of the mail folders. This way they are going to never appear 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 lots of spam these days, but using a good spam filter will eliminate the majority of it.
Step 5: Learn my system for processing your in-box. You can use this process to empty your in-box quickly, even when it offers hundreds of messages in it. Have your messages sorted from newest to oldest and process the newest ones first. In this way, if there is a conversation involving several messages, you won’t respond to an older message, just to later find that your response was not relevant to the current stage in the discussion. Process your messages within the order they are sorted – one-by-one. Don’t ggxmmq to skip around your in-box in an attempt to process the more important or urgent emails first. That was the previous means of doing things. Trust me, you may be much more efficient in the event you just go through them within the order these are sitting there within your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your goal at this stage of processing your in-box is to get it to empty and to sort your messages quickly and efficiently into folders for dealing with later. At a second stage you will end up actually answering the key messages.
Don’t open any messages that you don’t must so that you can decide how to deal with them. Attempt to decide based on the Sender and the Subject. If you have to open the content then scan it as soon as possible to make the decision on what to do with it. I’m not excited about those “preview windows” since they provide a temptation to read 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 just a critical part of my system.
Here are the four choices for how to deal 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 new closest friend. Take joy in each message that you simply delete because it’s just not important enough to obtain your attention. Think of all the time you’re freeing up for other activities. Delete, delete, delete. Your primary goal must be to delete as much as possible.
File It: If you think you may never need to read it or do anything along with it, but you might need it later for whatever reason, then save it in one of your folders. However, don’t place it within your *URGENT or *NOT URGENT folders – these use a different purpose. You are going to occasionally have to make a new folder for saving your messages inside an organized fashion.
Under 2 Minutes – Do It: When it is something you would like to read, or something you need to read reply to, or something that is you need to forward, and it can be done in just 2-minutes, then do it right then. Then either delete or file the message immediately to obtain it from your in-box. If it’s going to take greater than 2 minutes, DON’T Practice It, instead do the following:
URGENT or NOT URGENT Boxes: When the messages needs reading, replying, or forwarding, and you estimate that it should take greater than 2-minutes, move it either to your URGENT box or your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box ought to be for messages which need action in the next 24-2 days and the NOT URGENT box is made for the rest. These two 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 the folders (besides the URGENT rather than URGENT boxes) in the event you want it later. However, if you have a hard time breaking your habit of responding to unimportant messages, then you may want to create a third mail box called “*NOT IMPORTANT”.
Step 6: Make use of the above system to process your in-box to empty a couple of times per day. It will be easier if you stay along with it daily. You will be able to practice it in just fifteen minutes daily if you’re really after the system and not getting caught inside the temptation to respond to messages that take a lot more than 2 minutes. Should you get behind, that will happen every now and then, don’t panic or drop the system all together, instead, use the system to obtain caught up. You will be able to process an extremely backed up in-box with numerous messages quickly. You will definately get faster while you practice using this new method.
Step 7: Schedule 1 or 2 times each day to go through your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes and read, reply to, and forward messages. Aim to get these boxes to empty. Do the URGENT box first, then begin the NOT URGENT box. On days you have almost no time, don’t bother with all the NOT URGENT box. If these boxes start getting backed up, schedule a more substantial length of time to process them and acquire swept up.
Step 8: Learn to choose powerfully. This method doesn’t leave room for you to be indecisive – especially if you are processing your in-box. Previously, when you weren’t absolutely clear on what to do with a note, you almost certainly just left it inside your in-box. You’ll must break that habit. Whenever you process your in-box along with your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes, make it your goal to choose powerfully how to deal with 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 life, I would recommend which you switch off any “you’ve got mail” type reminders. During the day, when you visit your email program in order to compose a message to a person, resist the temptation to read your email while you’re at it. Instead, process your mail at the times you have scheduled for your purpose. Performing your email in blocks of scheduled time will help you to process your email better and intelligently, and it will assist you to remain focused on all the other important tasks you’re working on without getting distracted from your email frequently. You might like to develop exceptions. As an example, if somebody emails you about a consultation later that day, you may want to read that email immediately to determine if any action is necessary ahead of the appointment. However, make these kinds of “read right away” emails the rare exception rather than the standard.
Step 10: Keep your system. About once per month, make the effort to unsubscribe from the lists that are sending you mail that isn’t worth your attention any further. Create any filters that would be helpful. Go through and delete any saved mail folders that aren’t relevant any further. Go through your NOT URGENT box if it has been supported for a while and process it to empty. Examine your computer and think about how it can be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take all the time you’re saving and take action meaningful by using it! Spend it on the 20% in the actions that are going to get 80% from the results. Should you don’t really know what I’m speaking about, read my newsletter on the 80/20 rule
If you appreciate my email system, you will probably love the ebook, “Getting Things Done, The Art of Relaxed Productivity” by David Allen. I have the majority of my clients read this book.