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Empty your Inbox. Now.

Tags: Impact | Save time | Do more | Influencing

6th June

If your Inbox was a desk, and each email in it was a piece of paper – what’d your desk look like?

Would it be lovely and clean, and easy to work on?

Or covered in stacks of paper – on many different subjects, from many different people – randomly piled in an irritating, distracting mess?

Next question: which desk would be nicer to work at?

So, here's how to tidy your desk/empty your Inbox…

It's pretty simple. Just remember the Golden Rule:

       Only read emails once

Most emails can be dealt with in one hit, by doing one of:

  • Responding – for emails that are important and/or quick to deal with, just hit Reply and act on it
  • Delegating – for emails somebody else can deal with, forward it to them, telling them what you want them to do with it (don’t just send it ‘FYI’ – that doesn’t tell them anything)
  • Deleting – my favourite! If you don’t need it, delete it

After you’ve done these, take the email out of your Inbox, and put it into a folder/the bin.

So that’s the easy emails. But what about the emails you don't need to act on now?

Well, simply drag them out of your Inbox, and into a diary entry on the day you’re going to reply to it.

For example, I’ve just had an email that needs a reply by Friday. So I dragged it into Thursday’s diary. I don’t need to look at/think about it until then.

And, to ensure my diary never gets cluttered by doing this, I have a daily "answer emails" diary entry. So this email has gone into Thursday’s.

And that’s it.

I love this Tip. It's been a Life Changer for me – and for hundreds of my customers.

Best of all?

It's really quick.

Each email now takes seconds only. In fact, on average, each email takes me 15 seconds to act on.

So, you can remove four from your Inbox every minute. That's forty in ten minutes.

Your desk is starting to look a lot clearer…

Action Point

Two actions:

  • Apply today's Tip to every email you receive from now on
  • To remove your email backlog, pour yourself a glass of wine one evening, and spend 20-30 minutes acting on/diarising each email. Then remove them from your Inbox...

This will free-up loads of time.

But what will you do with this time? Well check out these cool ideas …