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7th International Clean Out Your Inbox Week: 20-24 January 2014: Day 3

Posted Tuesday January 21st, 2014, 8:36 pm by

Day 3 – How to Keep the Inbox Clean

Develop an uncanny ability to be selectively ignorant.  Timothy Ferriss.

Now you need to reduce the number of emails you receive each day to continue to reduce the email overload to enjoy an empty inbox.  Deleting simply is not an option. You have be proactive and keep all unwanted emails out of your inbox and reduce the number of times you check for new email.

COYIW Fb logoWhy, because the quicker you reply, the quicker the original sender pings back another response. You also need to spend a little time cleaning out those old emails.  Here is today’s three step action plan to continue reducing email overload and have an empty inbox.

Step 1 – Prioritise each new email you receive today 

How many of the emails you receive do you really need?  Triage your emails as you deal with them.  Ask yourself  ‘Do I really need this email?’ ‘How useful is this to me?’  For more guidance on prioritising see Brilliant Email chapter 3.

Step 2 – Stop all non-essential emails from reaching your inbox

For all those low priority emails, either get yourself off the sender’s list or automatically move them out of your inbox so they don’t distract you from the really important ones.   Your inbox should be your ‘work in hand’ just like an old fashioned in-tray.  Ways to reduce the incoming email traffic and hence email overload are:

  • Unsubscribe.
  • Ask the sender to remove you from their list.
  • Use rules to send them automatically to a folder/Trash.

To learn how to write Outlook rules click here.

Step 3 – Reduce the number of times you deal with email

How often do you currently check for new emails?  When was the last time you received an email which would mean a catastrophe if you did not respond for about an hour?  Give yourself a break from the inbox to allow yourself to focus on the task in-hand for at least 30 minutes and preferably one hour.  Try not deal with your email too late into the night as that can seriously effect your quality of sleep and your work-life balance.

Dare to share

Share your progress; EmailFacebookTwitter  (using #cleaninbox)  There are two prizes today. One for the person who has made the best progress reducing the number of times they check their email and one for the person who has reduced the volume of email they receive most substantially (a copy of ‘Brilliant Email‘ for each winner).

For  more resource

Twitter_logo_blueFollow me on Twitter using #cleaninbox.

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Do you feel others colleagues would benefit from help cleaning out their inboxes?  Why not eithre join them up to this week’s programme or ask MesmoConsultancy to run one of our Brilliant Email Management master classes?

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