Is your computer bogged down with too many icons and too many bookmarks? Are there files and documents everywhere but where you need them? Is all that junk getting in your way and slowing down your productivity? Maybe it’s time for a computer cleanup!
Join me this month as we clear away the clutter and streamline our computers!
Week 2: Email
If you have over 100 emails unread – you’re not alone!
To start the cleanup process, go through your inbox and mark all the emails as read. Then scan each email starting with the most recent.
Read the email once and decide right away – action item, reference item, trash item. Need details on how that all works? Check out the series I posted here about email management –
When cleaning up, tackle your email in 5 or 10 minute chunks – don’t allow email cleanup to monopolize your whole day. Remember, if an email is more than a month old, there’s probably no urgency with it.
Once you’ve got your email cleaned up, remember to tackle incoming email with the same question – action, reference, or trash. Asking the question, and acting on it, will help you stay on top of email clutter.
Join us next week when we talk about maintaining a clean desktop.
It’s the philosophy of getting your email inbox all cleaned out, zero emails. It’s a great goal, one that a lot of people strive for. Strive and then are disappointed when they can’t reach it. Because to be honest, I think Inbox Zero isn’t realistic for the majority of us.
Picture this. You work and work and work and finally achieve the holy grail of Inbox Zero. You step away from the computer to get a celebratory drink of something tasty and when you return…you have four new emails.
So much for Inbox Zero.
What if instead of trying to get down to zero emails in your inbox, you got to a place where you spent zero time worrying about email?
Imagine this – you go to your inbox and find a handful of new emails. Two minutes later you’ve got them sorted, filed, and ready to be followed up with. You check your Waiting folder to see who is still outstanding, then continue on with your workday. No more worrying about emails getting lost below the fold. No more stressing, wondering if you actually followed up with someone.
Zero worries. Carefree as a child.
It can happen!
If you’re ready to stop worrying about your email and start enjoying the time you’ve reclaimed, Ilios Digital can get you there. Schedule your Discovery Call today and let’s take you to Inbox Zero Worries!
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.
All the mental health articles tell us to, but do you ever manage to leave your email behind? I’ll admit that it’s the first thing I check when I get up in the morning, and I usually check it again right before I get ready for bed. Not because there is usually anything urgent, but it’s more of a habit than anything else. There are some days, though, where we do want to leave email behind. Vacation time, baby leave, even sick days are times when you might not be in your inbox regularly. I know that as entrepreneurs, ignoring email isn’t really an option. However, there are things you can do to manage expectations for those who are trying to get in touch with you when you’d rather be out of touch.
Check out any article on email management and you’ll see the phrase ‘Inbox Zero’. Although it’s a been a concept for many years, the current definition explains that having zero emails in your inbox is a sign of success. But did you know that wasn’t the original intent? Merlin Mann, the guy behind Inbox Zero, didn’t see the zero as a reference to the number of messages in an inbox, but “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in his inbox”.
So how do you go about spending less time in your inbox? Especially when your unread messages are climbing past triple digits.