Guest blog by Natahsa Vorompiova, SystemsRock
For many of us handling our Inboxes feels like battling Goliath—impossible to win. Just when you think your Inbox is under control and you can let it out of your sight for a while, it greets you with a tidal wave of black subject lines crashing against the screen. And so Inbox Zero—an inbox with no messages—remains an illusion.
Stop setting yourself up for failure by fantasising about Inbox Zero! Instead of Inbox Zero, strive for Inbox Processed, where you’ve taken the appropriate action on every single message. In addition to that, be intentional about how much time you spend on e-mail. That means recognising when it’s time to redirect your attention to various areas of your business, or life.
If you find yourself sucked into your inbox all day long, consider the following strategy.
Next time you open your inbox, quickly scan unread messages, put them into their respective buckets and take the corresponding actions:
• “JUNK” bucket – messages that you don’t even need to open to know that they don’t belong in your inbox. Action: DELETE these messages without opening them.
• “NO!” bucket – messages that don’t need your reply. Action: DELETE them after opening.
• “NOT NOW” bucket – something interesting, but not urgent. Action: ASK THE SENDER to follow up with you later & DELETE.
• “HELLO” bucket – conversational message. Action: REPLY & DELETE.
• “REQUESTS & DEADLINES” bucket – high priority messages. Action: REPLY, SAVE, AND ADD ANY ACTION STEPS to your calendar.
• “REFFERENTIAL INFO” bucket – something that’s worth saving or that you might need to reference. Action: SAVE and, if necessary, add a reminder to come back to the message at a later point.
Once done, close your e-mail and move on to the next task. If you want a bit more of a structured approach, here is a system to consider.
Would love to hear from you.
Which one of the tips can you commit to implementing this week?
Natasha Vorompiova is the founder of SystemsRock, architect of business systems that work and a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach. Her clients are small business owners who start their businesses with passion and a desire for freedom. Natasha creates systems that ensure clients get more done in less time and pave the way for greater profits and long-term success. Check out the FREE Systems Chick’s Guide to Transforming Busyness Into Business for simple ways to grow your business.
Mailbox image courtesy of Digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net