Reducing unnecessary energy drains such as a never-ending list of e-mails, and re-focusing your available energy on the things that are truly important to you can do wonders for your overall health and happiness.
In it guest writer Leo Babauta -- another great writer from Zen Habits -- shares his best tips. Here are just a few:
Set up rules for notifications: For notifications from online services you use, such as Amazon or Paypal, create a filter (or “rule” if you use Mail.app or Outlook) that automatically puts these into a specific folder that you can check at your own leisure when necessary.
Have an external to-do system: E-mail can linger if it requires an action on your part before a response. Instead of leaving it in your inbox, make a note of the task required in a notebook, an online to-do program, or a planner, and then archive the e-mail. This will get rid of a lot of e-mail in your inbox very quickly.
Process quickly: Working your way from top to bottom, open each e-mail and dispose of it immediately; delete, archive, or reply quickly (and then archive or delete the message), put on your to-do list (and archive or delete) or do the task immediately (then archive or delete), or forward the e-mail (and archive or delete). Never leave an e-mail sitting there.
Use short but powerful replies: Limit yourself to five sentences for each reply, at the maximum.
For the entire list of time-saving tips, see the link below.