Monday August 13th, 2012, 12:53 pm
Starting with an empty inbox before going on leave is an excellent way to reduce email overload. Set aside a few hours to clear out your inbox and reach that exclusive state of inbox zero.
Handle each email once and use the simple 4Ds to help you decide what to do with it:
- DEAL with it – respond here and now. If it doesn’t require further action move it to a folder.
- DELETE it – it’s old and past its sell-by-date and of no real value either to you or your business.
- DELEGATE – pass it to someone either to action on your behalf or prepare a response for you.
- DEFER – you cannot deal with it now but it does need action. Tell the recipient when it will be actioned and place it in a folder for action on your return.
The key is simply to make sure you don’t just leave emails lying unmarked and open in the inbox and relying on your memory to remember what needs attention.
More in the next blog on creating an empty inbox and reducing the email overload before taking leave.