The third instalment to the series which aims to make your hours behind your desk that bit easier.
Tip Number Three: Keep Your Inbox Empty
Having a job where you have to travel all the time can make staying on top of the inbox a bit of a hassle. I use a technique taught in the book ‘Upgrade Your Life’ by Gina Trapani. The method is simple.
Create an ‘Archive’ folder and remove the 1000s of old e-mails from your inbox and move them into the ‘Archive’ folder.
Next create two new folders called ‘Hold’ and ‘Follow Up’.
Now as soon as an e-mail comes into your inbox read it. Judge how long it will take to respond to the message.
- If it will take less than 1 minuet or is really urgent deal with it then and there. Then move it into either your ‘Archive’ or ‘Hold’ folder.
- If it’s going to take longer than 1 minuet move it into your ‘ Follow Up’ folder.
- If it’s an important message that you are going to use in the next few days move it to the ‘Hold’ folder.
Do not leave e-mails in your inbox.
Put any follow up e-mails on your todo list, do not let them linger in your ‘Follow Up’ folder unanswered for more than a few hours. Empty your ‘Follow Up’ folder a three or four times a day.
Empty your ‘Hold’ folder once a week.
If you stick to this method you should become quicker at responding, more organised and feel less intimidated by your e-mail.
If you use a smart phone (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry etc.) then you can probably use push notification with your e-mail account. This basically means e-mails arrive on your phone as soon as they have be sent so you can keep up message by message. The only thing to bear in mind about push e-mail is that it can eat up your battery.
If you want to learn how to set up push e-mail on your phone then I suggest googling ‘push email <the brand of your phone> <the name of your email provider>’. For instance ‘push email iphone hotmail’.
If you found this tip helpful or have any suggestions please leave a comment below.