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Free yourself from the shackles of your inbox

Drowning in emails? I get it. Here’s what I do for me and my clients.

✋ Don’t open your emails yet!

Until you’ve done your most important/productive task out, don’t even think about opening that bad boy. First, figure out what your most significant job is, and do that. Most of us open our email and drown in messages that seem important, but don’t move you towards your objectives. Deny the temptation of the rabbit hole.

Light version - Scan your emails to see if there’s anything urgent. If not, see above.

💤 Snooze!

Open your inbox and highlight (usually click to ‘mark’) all of the emails that you can deal with either at the end of the week, next week, or in a couple of weeks time. Drag them into a new folder and call them something like ‘End of the week’, ‘End of the month’, or ‘The near future’.

Reminder: Set an alert to deal with these at the planned time.

⏱Batch process

With the help of a clock/timer assign just 1 hour per day to emails*.

* I recommend 4pm onwards as the best time because less will reply after then.

If you need more than one hour, try to do it in the afternoon because if you reply to emails in the morning it becomes email tennis very quickly. Working to a one hour timer gives you a sense of urgency, meaning you focus on what’s important, are more succinct in your words, and get through your inbox quicker.

You’ll find that the world doesn’t end by replying to emails for just an hour a day. Soon, you’ll be able to squeeze your reply time into half an hour. You’ll prioritise what is urgent, what is important but not urgent (see tip 2) and what is unimportant (usually more than half).

Hint: Take a look at the auto archive feature in Gmail and Outlook.

📞Get them on the blower!

Could your conversation be had more effectively if you did it over the phone? Most likely, yes. Get on the phone before email tennis can even begin. If there are leads or conversations in your inbox that could be closed forever with one chat, put them in a separate folder.

If you want to strike this job off your 'to do' list then get in touch and arrange a complimentary discovery call.

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