One of the biggest distractions we all suffer from is the daily onslaught of emails trying to grab our attention. Now it’s time to face your inbox and realize that the goal is to process instead of putting out fires. “How in the world do I do that?” you ask. It’s simple and elegant. For every single email you will now, and forever more:
Make 1 of 5 choices:
1. Let It Go. How do you Let Go of an email? Delete it.
2. Let It Go To Someone Else. How do you Delegate an email? Forward it. A quick and easy way to track those that you delegate is to ‘blind copy’ yourself on these and when they come back to you, drag them either to your tasks on the dates they are due, or create a folder called PENDING RESPONSE and drag them there to track.
3. Do It Now. How do you Do It Now? Use my “2 minutes or less” rule: As emails come into your inbox, if you can pop them out into someone else’s “court” in two minutes or less, just do it. During this de-clutter process you can choose to either do all of these now or drag them to an AWAITING MY RESPONSE folder to do when you have the time.
4. Move to a Future Reference Folder. For all emails that you may need to refer to later but don’t need to take action on now, simply click on one email or group of emails and drag them to an appropriate Future Reference Folder in your inbox or save to your hard drive. You may need to create new folders in your inbox or hard drive to store these.
5. Move to a Further Action Folder. For all of the remaining emails that require you to take further action on, you have some options for how to track these including using your email client calendar program or setting up weekly action folders under your inbox. There are too many options to go into here, but the simplest way to deal with these is to drag them into your new PENDING RESPONSE folder where you’ll be able to sort through them and delete them as you complete the task and no longer need them.
The big key here is processing as you go so you don’t end up with the backlog you started with EVER AGAIN. I can’t say this enough … “Process people, PROCESS!”
Don’t let your email inbox be the distraction it continues to be. Get a handle on what you have going by processing your emails, and then get back to writing your book.
Here’s to getting control of your e-clutter so that nothing (at least not this) stands in the way of your book writing!
Wendy Ellin, Founder of Atlanta-based Momentum, is a Workplace Productivity Life Changer & Author of the new book “Enough Is Enough, Get Control of Your Stuff!”
Wendy shares her insights into living a productive and organized life with humor, a twist of irreverence and a level of passion that motivates her audience to TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY. Her approach to training is engaging, interactive, and with a “let’s make a difference in your life” attitude. She talks about real challenges that we all experience on a daily basis, such as excessive clutter, email overload, being on time (or not), reasonable expectations for getting things done, over-committing, and much more.