If you’re anything like me when you go back to work after a break – even a small one – your heart sinks as soon as you open your email. There’s nothing quite as depressing as a big-ass number of emails in your inbox. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed or stressed. We all know this is not the optimum mood for productivity!
The problem is that we never really get to the bottom of our inboxes these days. It’s just one more thing we can never quite lick into shape, like the ironing or the garden to the last few pounds of holiday weight.
Well, here’s a few ideas to start making your way towards a wonderful place called Inbox Zero.
When you are at Inbox Zero you are the most perfect version of yourself. You are in control. You are capable. You have the time to pursue the things you want most of all.
UNSUBSCRIBE – How many times have you found yourself distracted by an email offer or newsletter? Be brutal. If you cannot see an easy way to unsubscribe then block the account to send any dead wood straight to your junk. You should see a difference immediately. Those five minutes you might spend daydreaming over a bargain Caribbean cruise are yours again. Use them wisely.
FIVE MINUTE FLASH – Instead of checking Facebook or the news (or One of Many!) on your phone when you’re waiting in line or have a couple of minutes between meetings see how many emails you can get through. Respond to those that you know from the subject line will only take a few seconds. Challenge yourself to do more in five minutes next time.
SHORT AND SWEET – I heard a great story recently about a woman working in Hollywood who took a wayward actress under her wing and turned her career around. News of her dedication reached the boss of the company, a huge Hollywood mogul. He sent her a long email, congratulating her on her work, copying the email to many important people. This woman’s emailed reply? Thanks.
COPY AND PASTE – Have you got a form response to save precious minutes when no further action is required? Not only will it save you time typing the email but you expand less mental energy composing and suitable reply. Something like: “This is great, thanks for keeping me in the loop.” can cover you plenty of times.
AN INBOX IS NOT A FILING CABINET – Repeat that after me. Even the most basic email programs will have a filing system. Get to know yours. It is easy to get into the habit of e-searching through your entire inbox for the right correspondence. The same search will still pick-up an email you archived. But moving a hundred emails to an archive folder will make room for new business to flow!
How many emails in your inbox right now? Are you a hoarder or a sorter? Does a trip to inbox zero sound good to you? Let us know in the comments…or by email 🙂
Dr Joanna Martin: Founder, oneofmany.co.uk.| Author| Women’s Speaker| Entrepreneur| Ex-doctor| Loud Sister| Baby Wrangler = No professional training but do a fine job nonetheless!