Managing your email is one of the most important elements in maximizing your productivity. If you actually track the time you spend managing emails you will realize that it’s a big chuck and it can be better utilize doing real work.
The goal is to see your inbox as an inbox and emails are not suppose to be there permanently and it should be cleared at the end of the day. Clear as in 0 emails in the inbox. The first few times you see this, it’s actually very liberating. Here is the strategy to get it clear:
Review from top down every message and make a decision on it before processing the next
Delete. If you don’t need it.
File it. If no action is to be taken file it. (I like to keep as few folders as possible)
Delegate. If you can assign it to someone else then do it.
Do it immediately.If it takes 2 minutes or less
Add to-do list. If it takes more than 2 minutes
Email Management Tips
If you have hundreds of emails or emails from the past then drop it all in a folder and sort it later. For now sort all the incoming emails.
Have as few email accounts as possible. This way you do not spend all of your time checking different emails.
Schedule times to review your email and follow the process each time you check it. If you do not feel like processing your emails then don’t check it.
Have separate email for junk. Check those when you feel like it.
Set up automatic rules to process email. Send up subject text to automatically process the recurring transaction and receipt emails.
Make sure to have a to-do list and always go through that list of things you have to do. Do not count on going through your email.