What if I could show you a means to shave fifteen minutes each day off of the time you spend on your email? Would this make a difference in your life? Helping you save 15 minutes daily would free up a lot more than 2,225 hours over the course of the next twenty five years. That’s equal to 285 work days (2,225 hours divided by a typical 8 hour work day = 285 days). That’s more days than a lot of people work in a whole year!
What would you accomplish with the extra year of work? Would that be worth spending a quarter-hour to understand the program I developed for processing your email?
If you’re like most people, you have challenges together with your email. Perhaps your in-box is definitely supported. It may be so supported that you would be embarrassed to inform someone how many messages will be in there. Many of my clients (before they learned my system) experienced a backlog of various hundred messages in their in-box. This caused these to spend your time sorting through their messy in-box looking for messages which needed their attention.
Nevertheless the main problem I find with my clients is because they simply spend a long time on their own email. I teach my clients to get more proactive and less reactive. This can help those to be more efficient, effective, and successful in their work and private lives. Email provides a huge temptation to become in a reactive mode. You could have majorly important, even time sensitive goals on the plate, yet you’re still spending time far from those goals to read email messages concerning the most irrelevant things imaginable, and even spending time to answer those messages!
Many people, so as to escape the distraction due to their email, elect to bury their heads in the sand by not processing their email for several days, ultimately causing a tremendous backlog that leaves them overwhelmed without any hope of ever fully catching up.
One of the best aspects of my system is that it’s Very Easy. This makes it simple to learn and implement. However, you probably have numerous years of bad email habits which will need changing and old habits die hard. It’s likely to have a really strong commitment and a few discipline to generate the brand new habits, but when they’re established, it will likely be simple and easy , natural.
Step One: Create two new folders named “*URGENT” and “*NOT URGENT”. Put the “*” at first from the folder name so it will sort to the top of the listing of folders. You could also us an underscore “_” or any other character for this purpose.
Step Two: Create folders for saving emails which you might need later. If you have these folders, you may want to produce new ones, or rename and reorganize those you have therefore they make more sense.
Step 3: Figure out how to use the filter system in how to change subject in gmail and set up as many filters as possible for messages which you don’t have to see immediately once they arrive. For instance, in case you are on any email discussion lists, where you get several messages per day or per week, make a filter that automatically sorts all those messages into your mail folders. This way they will likely never turn up in your in-box and they can be neatly organized into folders.
Step 4: Make sure you have a great spam filter in position. Everyone receives plenty of spam nowadays, but possessing a good spam filter will get rid of the most of it.
Step 5: Learn my system for processing your in-box. You can use this process to empty your in-box rapidly, even though it offers countless messages within it. Have your messages sorted from newest to oldest and process the latest ones first. In this way, if there is a discussion involving several messages, you won’t react to an older message, just to later discover that your response had not been relevant to the current stage from the discussion. Process your messages inside the order they have been sorted – one-by-one. Don’t ggxmmq to skip around your in-box so as to process the better important or urgent emails first. Which had been the existing way of doing things. Believe me, you may be much more efficient in the event you go through them in the order these are sitting there within your in-box (don’t skip around!). Your goal at this point of processing your in-box is to buy it to empty and also to sort your messages efficiently and quickly into folders for working with later. In a second stage you may be actually answering the most important messages.
Don’t open any messages that you simply don’t need to to be able to decide how to handle them. Make an effort to make the decision based on the Sender and the Subject. If you need to open your message then scan it as fast as possible to make the choice on what to do with it. I’m not in love with those “preview windows” simply because they give a temptation to see emails that you’re not actually ready to deal with yet. You might like to try turning your preview window off, even though this is not really a critical a part of my system.
Listed below are the 4 options for what to do 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 brand-new companion. Take joy in each message that you simply delete because it’s not important enough to obtain your attention. Think of all of the time you’re freeing up for other things. Delete, delete, delete. Your primary goal should be to delete as many as possible.
File It: If you believe you might never have to read it or do just about anything with it, but you will need it later for whatever reason, then save it in one of your folders. However, don’t put it inside your *URGENT or *NOT URGENT folders – these use a different purpose. You may occasionally have to make a brand new folder for saving your messages within an organized fashion.
Lower Than 2 Minutes – Do It: If it is something you need to read, or something you would like to read reply to, or something that is you need to forward, and you can do it in under 2-minutes, then do it right then. Then either delete or file the content immediately to get it from your in-box. If it’s likely to take greater than 2 minutes, DON’T DO IT, instead do the following:
URGENT or otherwise not URGENT Boxes: If the messages needs reading, replying, or forwarding, and you estimate that it will take more than 2-minutes, move it to either your URGENT box or your NOT URGENT box. The URGENT box should be for messages that need action inside the next 24-2 days as well as the NOT URGENT box is for the remainder. Both these boxes are for important messages only! If something is not important, maybe you shouldn’t be squandering your time into it. Perhaps it should be deleted or saved in your folders (other than the URGENT rather than URGENT boxes) in case you require it later. However, should you have trouble breaking your practice of answering unimportant messages, then you might 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 simpler in the event you stay on the top of it daily. You must be able to practice it in just fifteen minutes each day if you’re really pursuing the system and never getting caught within the temptation to respond to messages that take more than 2 minutes. Should you fall behind, that can happen from time to time, don’t panic or drop the program all together, instead, utilize the system to get trapped. You will be able to process a very backed up in-box with hundreds of messages very quickly. You will definately get faster when you practice by using this new method.
Step 7: Schedule 1 or 2 times each day to go through your URGENT and NOT URGENT boxes and study, reply to, and forward messages. Make an effort to get these boxes to empty. Do the URGENT box first, then start the NOT URGENT box. On days you have very little time, don’t bother with the NOT URGENT box. If these boxes start to get supported, schedule a more substantial amount of time to process them and acquire trapped.
Step 8: Learn to choose powerfully. This method doesn’t leave room so that you can be indecisive – especially when you are processing your in-box. In the past, once you weren’t certain of what to do with a note, you almost certainly just left it in your in-box. You’ll must break that habit. Once you process your in-box along with your URGENT rather than URGENT boxes, ensure it is your primary goal to pick powerfully how to deal with each message – just decide, act and don’t spend your time.
Step 9: Break reactive habits. In the interests of being more proactive and much less reactive in your life, I would recommend which you shut off any “you’ve got mail” type reminders. During the day, when you visit 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 may have scheduled for the purpose. Doing all of your email in blocks of scheduled time will help you process your email more effectively and intelligently, plus it will help you remain focused on all the other important tasks you’re working on without getting distracted from your email frequently. You may want to make some exceptions. As an example, if someone emails you about an appointment later on that day, you may want to read that email immediately to determine if any action is necessary before the appointment. However, make these sorts 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 your lists which are sending you mail that isn’t worth your attention any further. Create any filters that might be helpful. Proceed through and delete any saved mail folders that aren’t relevant any more. Go through your NOT URGENT box if it has been backed up for some time and process it to empty. Examine your computer and take into consideration how it may be improved, etc.
Bonus Step: Now, take all the time you’re saving and make a move meaningful by using it! Spend it on the 20% from the actions that are going to get 80% of the results. In the event you don’t understand what I’m talking about, read my newsletter on the 80/20 rule
If you like my email system, you will likely love the book, “Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress Free Productivity” by David Allen. I actually have most of my clients read this book.