THE MYSTICAL INBOX ZERO
Hey! I hope you are doing well and appreciating some organization in your business. I wanted to chat today about email because it’s an immense struggle in every business owner’s life. We are going to take a couple of weeks to talk about email and allow the information to soak into our minds!
Have you heard of Inbox Zero? Inbox Zero is an email management system. The goal for Inbox Zero is to keep your inbox empty, or almost empty, at all times. I know, you’re probably thinking that’s unreasonable because you receive numerous emails throughout the day and don’t have time to go through them. Guess what???? After we are finished with our email organization you WILL achieve Inbox Zero and be able to maintain your email at Inbox Zero repetitively! It just takes a little planning ahead of time to make it happen. I’ll be here every step of the way! Let’s jump into it! First, we need to do some pre-work before we start the actual process. The initial portion of the pre-work is to look at how we think about our inbox and reframe it if necessary. We are going to do an exercise! Now stand up and do 10 pushups……..just kidding! We aren’t doing that kind of exercise. I do want you to take a break from reading this blog and go to your computer. When you are at your computer, open your inbox. What do you see? Are there any emails that have been sitting there for 24 hours or more? If so, how many? If the response is anything other than zero, let’s take a breather and reconsider your approach to dealing with your email. How many times have you heard yourself say, “I’ll reply to that email later” or “I’ll send that material to them later”? I used to do it all the time! “I’ll deal with it later” was my preferred statement when it came to my email. But later never happened as that email is submerged beneath 100 additional emails and I don’t see it again. It makes sense that having multiple emails just glaring at you all day, every day is not an efficient way to organize. It’s best to decide how many times each day you are going to respond to your emails. Additionally, decide on how much time you will devote to responding. For instance, I may prefer to check my emails twice per day. Once in the morning before I begin work so I can make sure nothing is pressing to take care of, and then again before I stop working for the day. Both times I am responding to emails, I allow myself 30 minutes to do so. If you have over 1,000 emails in your inbox, I understand that 30 minutes isn’t going to be adequate time to get to Inbox Zero. That’s a-okay! We are going to get you there! Before you know it, you will effortlessly be competent in checking all of your emails in 30 minutes (or less!). As you are working through your emails before having Inbox Zero, for each email you open, select from the following selections.
1. If you come across a message that needs no action from you, archive that email instantly. It’s taking up valuable space that you need!
2. If you can respond to a message in 3 minutes or less, do it. Quickly deal with it and get it out of the way. Afterward, archive it so it is no longer in your inbox.
3. If a message is going to take some time to contemplate, investigate, or locate specific material, there are a couple of possibilities you have here. If you are using a project management system, pop it in there as a task so you don’t overlook that you have to work on it. Another choice is to snooze the email to a time and date that you can spend some time on it. If you do it this way, you are briefly removing the message out of your inbox so you can deal with it at a future time. I know that email snoozing is accessible with Gmail, but I’m not certain if it’s available for others like Outlook. If you have another program for your email, check it out to see if you have that option. As we end today, I have one last suggestion. NEVER leave an email in your inbox for more than 24 hours. In the upcoming weeks, as we work towards Inbox Zero, it will be easier for you to see how that is attainable!
Until next time, take care of yourself and stay healthy & warm!