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Showing items tagged with "Clean Inbox" - 12 found.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Reduce Email Overload Day 2

Posted Tuesday May 9th, 2017, 6:08 pm by

Day 2 – Keeping the Inbox Clean

There is a huge stress (associated) with disorganisation and there is also a cost to being disorganised. Carolee Cannata

Mental health issues are often exacerbated by stress at work.  Email overload is a major source of stress.  The real work of reducing email overload starts today. Having cleared out all the old emails, the goal is keep the inbox clean.  Develop the habit of  handling each email once and only once.  This will help you reduce the email related stress and improve your well-being and mental health.

Step 1 – Handle each (new) email once and do something with it

Use the Ds principle as you open each email:

Deal; Delegate; Delete or Defer.

Never, never open an email and then close it without taking action. This just wastes time as you then go back and forth re-reading emails.

Step 2 – Develop a robust strategy for deferred emails

Develop a process for you for making sure you keep tabs on those emails which still need action. For example, create a task, add a flag, move them to a ‘Pending’ folder. What ever happens don’t just leave them lying around in your inbox.

For more resource

Invest in a copy of either ‘Brilliant Email’ or for ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’ (written especially for PAs, EAs and VAs).

Tomorrow we look at how to reduce the volume of email traffic through your inbox.

 

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Mental Awareness Week – Reduce Email Overload

Posted Monday May 8th, 2017, 7:28 am by

Business email overload remains one of the top ten causes of stress.  It saps our performance and well-being.  As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we are posting a series of daily tips and strategies to help you clean out your inbox and reduce the email related stress.  We thank the Mental Health Foundation for their support.

Day 1 – Why Bother?

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed. Peter Drucker

Why bother to take time to clean out your inbox?  Primarily, because email overload is expensive.

Email overload means our potential to be productive and creative is significantly reduced. The starting point for Cleaning Out Your Inbox is to assess just how much time you can save by cleaning out your inbox this week.

Step 1 – Check the Cost of Email Overload to yourself and your business

Use our Cost of Email Misuse Calculator and dare to share the results – see below.

Step 2 – Weigh in

  • Check how many emails are in your inbox.
  • What is the date of the oldest.
  • How many are unread.

Step 3 – Move all those emails over 10 days old out of your inbox into a folder.

They are long since dead and if they are not you can be sure the sender will re-contact you.

Step 4 – Set yourself SMART goals for the week and plan how they will be achieved.

For example, do you want to find ways to spend less time dealing with email and more on revenue generating tasks, reduce the volume of emails you receive, find ways to stop people expecting an instant reply etc.

If these tips are helpful why not cajole other colleagues to join you?

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Clean Inbox for the festive season

Posted Monday December 12th, 2016, 9:27 pm by

Five quick ways to clean and de-clutter your inbox

Clean Inbox

  1. Move all emails over two weeks old to a folder outside your inbox. Basically anything that old is well past its sell-by date. If it isn’t you can be sure that the sender will re-contact you.
  2. Start the folder name with full stop and it will sit at the top of the folder list. Alternatively for Outlook users, you can add it to your Favorites.
  3. Review what is left and decide what else to move out and what still needs action. Use the Conversation view/Sort by Subject/Sender etc to sort.
  4. Set aside time each day to action any emails which really, really warrant your attention.
  5. Move all the rest out to the folder created in Step 1.

By now you should have a relatively clean inbox. If not – simply declare Email Bankruptcy.

Switch off, take a break and enjoy your email digital detox.

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Limit the holiday email overload

Posted Friday July 29th, 2016, 12:13 pm by

Before you go on vacation, will you be apply lashing of sun tan lotion to your inbox or exposing it to the risk of going red and swelling out of proportion? Here are five easy and simple actions you can take before going on leave to limit the risk of self-induced holiday email overload.

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  1. Reduce the current inbox to as near to inbox zero as possible – see 2 and 3 below.
  2. Check for any important emails which if left unattended will be urgent when you return. If there are then either deal with them now or send a holding reply which allows you time on your return to deal with them.
  3. Move out all the remaining emails over a week old. They are past their sell by date and if they are not, rest assured, someone will re-email you.

You should just be left with emails needing attention on your return. You could be bold and move these too into a folder ‘awaiting action’. Now you have an empty inbox. How does that feel? To keep the inbox clean and de-cluttered see item 4.

  1. Set up rules to move automatically both essential and non-essential emails to folders eg newsletters, circulars, out of office messages, emails on which you are cc’d, etc. This also means that emails from key people are all in one place on your return and easy to find. Your inbox should then just contain important emails but un-planned for emails.
  2. Set a safe and simple Out of Office message. Take care not to leave the door open to prying eyes and cyber criminals. You might be bold and suggest the sender re-sends any important emails on your return as all emails will be automatically deleted. Such a practice is far more common than you think.

Now go off and relax safe in the knowledge that you have taken adequate precautions to reduce vacation (and even staycation) email overload. Maybe even have an email free vacation.

For more guidelines like these see Brilliant Email and Taking Control of Your Inbox (the latter is especially relevant for PAs and EAs who manage someone else’s inbox.

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Distracted Beyond Belief

Posted Wednesday March 2nd, 2016, 9:31 pm by

One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.
Daniel Goleman

Are you distracted by each and every new email as it arrives in your inbox? Over the last few weeks it amazed us as to how many people still have all those new email alerts turned on. The reasons why range from ‘we are acting for clients in the middle of a merger’ to ‘my boss will ask for more coffee during a meeting’. The latter might just be valid, but and it’s a big but, often better decisions are made given a little extra time and space to think. Ever looked back and thought if only?

As to the second reason, can the boss not phone, walk to their PAs office? Would not any self respecting PA check on such matters during important meetings?

We live in an age of instant gratification so the faster we reply the better we feel. Or do we? Constant distractions have been shown irrevocably to reduce our performance. Moreover our brain becomes re-wired to think tactically and we lose the ability to think strategically. This is one of the first major challenges facing Sophie in Dr Seeley’s new book Taking Control of Your Inbox. Max the email genie from the Clean Inbox Kingdom provide some solutions.

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  1. Turn off all those wretched new email alerts from the ding dong to the floating box. Stay focused for 20 to 30 minutes then review the inbox. For Outlook users go to File/Options/Mail. Under the Message arrival block, uncheck all the boxes. Click OK.
  2. Apply either the Pomodoro or Swiss Cheese Approach when you do switch to dealing with email. In each case it’s about identifying what is really important and dealing with those emails then returning to the task in hand.
  3. Manage sender’s expectations. Tell them when you will respond.
  4. Set aside specific time to deal with the rest of the emails.
  5. If needs be use your Out of Office message to buy time when dealing with an important task which requires your undivided attention.

Clients who have switched off all the new email alerts are always amazed at how much more they achieve in a day. As one client said last week – ‘you made me realise that the inbox is no more than a post box. When ready I will go and see that the postman has for me’.

For more help to take control of your day why not invest in a copy of Taking Control of Your Inbox (and life)?

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