When you arrive at your desk, you see that your email inbox is overflowing with email. How are you going to work through all this email, and get those tasks with a deadline done on time?
The time you spent in your email inbox is not spent on other, more important tasks. If you are enjoying responding to email and living in your inbox all day, this blogpost is not for you. This blogpost is for those achievers that want to make the most of their day. Here follow some tips on how to handle email. The goal is to achieve inbox zero.
Whenever you have read an email, and have responded to it, you should archive or delete the email. This results in a clean, cleared inbox. Your inbox will be empty, except for those new emails that still require your attention. Respond, then file or delete an email. It’s as simple as that. Never let email linger in your inbox, when no follow-up or action is required. This simple tactic is known as the Only Handle It Once rule.
Distractions are bad, right? So are notifications that pop-up whenever you have a new message. They distract your attention and keep you from working on your most important tasks. Focus on what you are working on, instead of your inbox. Turn of notifications and you will see that you will be less distracted. It’s okay to let some time pass before you answer emails. Every time you are interrupted it becomes harder to pick up where you left.
Don’t check email every five minutes. Instead, schedule a couple of times each day to handle email. Give yourself some time – I suggest 15 minutes – to respond to emails. When you stick to the Only Handle It Once rule, you will be surprised at how fast you can get to Inbox Zero.
Feels good, right?
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