It’s the first week of the New Year, which means that a lot of us are thinking about how we can best be productive in the coming months. And, because many of us traveled or otherwise ignored work, we’re lost in a sea of emails that keeps piling up. If you, like Jason Hartman, run a website or business (or many of them) this seems unmanageable and can easily be overwhelming.
Maintaining a clean and organized inbox is the simple key to a more productive (and happy!) work life. Luckily, we’ve got a few tips to help you on your way!
First, organize the way you in which you check email. This might mean establishing times that are set aside for responding to email—maybe in the morning, after lunch, and before the end of work hours. You can even set your inbox to import emails only during these times. This will ensure that you aren’t distracted by incoming messages, which can really cut into productivity.
Consider leaving email to a time in which your creativity is low or you otherwise feel unproductive. Responding to emails is often a simple task that can be accomplished in these times. Keep the time consistent and you’ll find yourself maximizing email productivity in no time.
Next, try and abide by the two minute rule which says that if you can read and respond within two minutes, it should be taken care of that second. For emails that will require more time, schedule a time to respond by using your calendar.
Further organize your email inbox by sorting things into files according to the action being taken on them. You might also setup rules in your inbox that automatically sort emails into certain files (coworkers, incoming sales, etc.) This works well for regularly occurring emails that always have the same subject.
Finally, reduce the amount of emails you receive. You may have coworkers who cc you on important emails—automatically file these so you have them for reference but they’re not clogging up your inbox. Then, encourage coworkers and friends to pick up the phone and call you instead of sending an email. Set up a Skype or instant messaging account and watch your inbox become more manageable.
Model good email behavior, and others will start to do the same. Be clear and concise, and don’t be afraid to talk to people face-to-face about doing the same. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pena2/2902093139/)
The Young Wealth Team