Finally -- Take Back Control Over Your E-mail
February 07, 2008
I don’t know about you, but I frequently get anywhere from 150 to 200 e-mails a day, and going through them tends to consume a large portion of my time. I suspect this e-mail overload affects a lot of you, too, and I’m always on the lookout for tips to manage my onslaught of e-mails quicker, but still effectively.
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.
The link below, which goes to one of my absolute favorite time-management experts, Tim Ferris – the author of the Four Hour Work Week -- can help you cut your e-mail time down to 20 minutes a day.
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.