No longer a slave to your inbox.
Incoming emails are often a source of annoyance: they cost you time and give you stress.
Many people are reactive when it comes to inbound mails. You typically check your email throughout the day and randomly respond to messages as they come in. Not only are you constantly being interrupted during your work, it is also very inefficient. Additionally it is easy to lose track… on which email in which inbox do you still have to take action?
With a system to subdivide your mailbox and process incoming emails you can save a lot of time and gain a sense of control:
- Create folders for “FYI” (For Your Information), “To-Do”, and “Done”.
- Work through you inbox and move everything from the last month to your “FYI”, “To-Do”, and “Done” folders. In the FYI folder you place the informative messages that do not require action. In the “To-Do” folder you put everything that requires action or a response; everything that is older than one month you put in “FYI”.
- Every morning, move all your new emails into the “FYI” or “To-Do” folders so that you are left with an empty inbox. You can repeat this process at the end of the day. NOTE: All messages requiring two minutes or less you deal with immediately.
- Pick a moment in the day to process the emails in your “To-Do” folder; you move all processed emails into the “Done” folder.
- Plan one hour a week to go through your “FYI” folder and place all read emails in the “Done” folder. This way you know everything that goes on in your network. Do this at your leisure at a nice coffee place or sitting in the sun on your balcony, for instance.
TIP: Place an asterisk in the name of these folders so that they appear at the top of your folder list and you always have them on your radar. (e.g. *To Do).
NOTE: Perhaps you already have a system to archive your emails. If so, move the processed “FIY” and “To-Do” messages into this archive instead of the “Done” folder.
This way you are in charge of your inbox and thus your time. You chose the moments when you take action, making you much more efficient.
Save even more time? Work with a Personal Assistant that manages your inbox for you!