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Sort for Success

November 14th, 2012

Good morning. You stretch, make yourself some coffee, shower and prepare a quick and nutritious breakfast. Then you make a terrible mistake.

You check your Inbox before leaving the house and there are already 40 new messages from last night. By the time you get to the office and turn on your monitor, 30 more emails have crept in. Not to mention the 50 or so you didn’t look at yesterday and the 100 from last week.

Your first instinct is to probably take a holiday and never look at that Inbox ever again. You can’t always follow that instinct unfortunately. So, after another cup of coffee, you typically start at the top of the email pile and work your way down…

My challenge to you is to try something different today by following this simple guide for curing Inbox woes.

Step 1: If you read last week’s blog post, you’ll recall these wise words: arrange your email by sender so that it organizes all like-minded items together – thus allowing you to quickly purge and sort large chunks of mail.

Step 2: Prioritize and organize the remaining messages like so. (Create folders if that makes it clearer.)
A) Urgent messages that you can respond to quickly
B) Messages older than 4 weeks that you can respond to quickly
C) Messages that require action from you before you can respond
D) Everything else

Step 3: Delete, Delete, Delete
If it’s an online column, newsletter or subscription service you never have time to read, delete it and take the time to unsubscribe. Eliminating the messages that take up space and tax your workload is a great way to free up your time and lessen headaches.

Quality over quantity holds true even in your Inbox. Spend your precious time engaging with only the most critical and necessary correspondence and I guarantee your Inbox will be less of an ongoing struggle.

All November I’m invested in your Inbox. Come back next week for even more efficient and useful ways for optimum email organization.

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