Empty inbox before going on leave – the 4Ds

Monday August 13th, 2012, 12:53 pm

Starting with an empty inbox before going on leave is an excellent way to reduce email overload.  Using the 4 Ds principle, set aside a few hours to clear out your inbox.

Handle each email once and use the simple 4Ds to help you decide what to do with it:

Inbox Zero
  • 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.

For more daily tips and hints on reducing email overload follow me on Twitter as the ‘EmailDoctor’ or check out how Mesmo Consultancy can help you with our tried and tested workshops.

For more time saving tips and hints why not buy a copy of one of our books or let us run a Smart Email Management workshop for you and your colleagues.
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