How to make your email work for you - Top tips for achieving 'Zero Inbox'
- Do you spend most days hearing the relentless 'ping' of yet another email notification?
- Do pointless 'non-urgent' emails push the important ones out of sight on to page two?
- Have you ever 'lost' an email and forgotten to reply?
Seriously, ZERO emails in your inbox at the end of each day. How good would that feel?
But how I hear you cry? Okay, i'm not going to lie to you...if your inbox is in a state of flux it is not something which is going to be instantaneous.
You are going to have to put in the man hours to clear the backlog which will take probably a whole evening (or you could outsource this part to a Virtual Assistant to do for you *blatant plug) but once you do you can then take full control going forwards.
Once you have cleared your inbox, unsubscribed from those pesky emails you forgot you even subscribed to, replied to the urgent ones and filed or deleted the rest (If this sounds like hell then seriously just outsource it. It'll take a few hours for a VA to do it for you for at a minimum charge) you will be in a good place to begin Operation ZERO INBOX.
Here's how it works...
Get email organised with Folders & Files -
- Your email should have a multitude of folders within it. Up to you how you use them. Personally each client of mine has a file (and sub-files if you want to get SUPER organised) and their emails (and all replies) get filed into those folders and out of the inbox.
- I also have a 'Personal' file so any personal mail or anything have subscribed to can be filed easily too.
- Once an email has been actioned it is moved out of my inbox into a named folder. The only time I have email in my Inbox is if it hasnt been actioned and hasnt been transferred onto my master Task List. Once it has been moved to the To Do list it can be filed.
- Not being faced with 100's of email can really help take the pressure off and help you to really focus
- I always try to action all my emails in one go. Again it helps to focus on what I need to get done that day/week. Email can really affect your productivity as it is always there lurking in the background. Set aside that time then don't check again till later. If someone really needs you they have your number
Use your downtime wisely
- Instead of idly browsing on the internet looking at your favourite sites spend five minutes deleted or filing your emails if you know you can. You can do it in the queue at the supermarket or while you're sat waiting to pick up your children when you're being a parent taxi. Anytime when you might idly reach for your phone/tablet
- Before you have period away from your business make sure everything you have to do is done or hand it over to others to deal with. Then put your Out Of Office on and don't keep checking. The next stage from this is...
- I always put an extra day of Out-of-Office on when i've returned from a break. This really gives you breathing space to sit and spend the time tackling the inbox and getting back to zero.
Pick Up the phone!
- Want to have less emails to deal with? Send less emails. There is sometimes no better way to save time than to pick up the phone. That email conversation turns into Email Ping Pong with 20 emails whizzing back and forth.
- Think of all that time spent writing emails when a five minute conversation would have sufficed? Think of all those replies which now need filing.
Can't use the phone? Use a messenger service rather than email
- Perhaps the person you need to speak to is abroad and it is expensive to call. If you want to Mhave an online chat rather than utilising a call then use a service such as Messenger or Whatsapp or any other messaging based service and avoid clogging up your inbox with further emails if an online chat would do the trick just as well.
- Try and avoid sending long essays of email. You are not being rude if you keep email short but sweet.
Use an app
- If you don't think you can be relied upon to keep on top of your inbox you can use an app. App's such as Mailbox to help you run an empty inbox policy
So there you have it! Top tips for achieving a Zero Inbox.
I promise it will revolutionise your life and make you MUCH more organised and much less stressed out.
If you need more support with this then why not contact us, We would be more than happy to help!
Thanks for reading :)