My husband takes off his socks at night when we’re sitting in the living room playing on our computers and pretending to watch TV. No big deal, right? Except for the next three days, both of us will walk past those lonely white socks four or five times a day and still, the socks stay where they fell.
Email is like this too. We get a new action email, read it – and decide it would only take a few minutes to complete – then leave it in our inbox while we wander off to do something else. We come back to our email how many times a day, re-read that action message, but still leave it undone until ‘later’. Well, later comes with twenty other action emails waiting for your attention.
What would have happened if you had taken 2 minutes to respond to the email instead of putting it off till later? Probably the same thing that would have happened if my husband had taken 2 minutes to pick up his socks and put them away.
Our delayed decisions lead to clutter – both in your inbox and in your living room. David Allen of Getting Things Done says if you have a task that will only take a couple of minutes, you should complete the task then, don’t put it off till ‘later’. Doing those two-minute tasks right away is another way to keep your inbox under control. Sure, some action emails require more effort but don’t ignore those two-minute tasks.
Too many emails to tackle on your own? Let me know! Ilios Digital Organizing offers an Inbox Detox program that can get you back on track.