Our clients have been asking, “what should be on our resolution list this year?” We have one simple suggestion: COMPLETELY EMPTY YOUR EMAIL INBOX
For those of you who use your inbox as a storage place…
This may send you into a panic. Do not fret. You can do this.
Start by setting up two appointments: one in the near term & another in six months. In the first appointment delete by age, from the bottom, all the messages you know are extinct and you’ll not need to reference. Then sort by author & delete all the messages from people you know you can eliminate. Next rank by file size & delete the emails with large attachments that you no longer need. The last step may seem drastic, but there are great rewards. Create a folder called “Expired Email.” Choose a date to draw an imaginary line (I suggest no more than three weeks out), then drag all older emails into the expired folder. Any emails retrieved from the expired folder within six months should be incorporated into other reference folders. All others (no exceptions!) should be deleted during the second appointment you arranged for six months out.
For those who use your inbox as a to-do list…
We suggest you break this habit. Although more effective than allowing 1,000+ emails to pile up, using your inbox to prompt on-time follow up can lead to mishaps & doesn’t allow for prioritization.
Start by setting up an appointment to create an action file to hold all the reminders you have. Then add reminders for tasks resulting from emails as well as other tasks you need to complete. (We’ve found the tried & true tickler file system works better than any electronic method or otherwise. If you don’t know how to set one up, give us a call. We’ll talk you through it.)