The inbox habit is deadly unless managed effectively. What you don’t realize is that this inbox habit left uncontrolled will steal your energy second by second. It’s like death by a 1000 cuts versus one big cut.
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
What happens is that you constantly peek into your inbox and scan away. You begin scanning for fun subject lines that entice you to open your email. But as you scan, you also see the subject lines that often represent work and further tasks that require your attention. Within minutes you are looking at 100’s of emails. Now you have a decision… which one do you tackle first?
What’s worse is that a growing majority of people read email first on a mobile device. This makes it easy to do nothing with the email and put it back in your pocket or bag until later. Later generally comes when you view the email for a second or third time on a desktop or laptop where you ultimately need to take action on those emails.
The way you manage your inbox is akin to picking up a newspaper, reading the headline and putting down the newspaper. 45 minutes later, you pick up the newspaper, read the headline and scan the article. Later that day, you grab the paper and now read the full article before you toss out the paper into the recycle bin. This is newspaper insanity. You may be laughing right now, but you do this with your inbox.
How do you kick the inbox habit?
New Habit -> Next time you scan your email inbox follow the steps on the right each time
- Scan your inbox for the Sender and Subject line.
- Delete everything that is junk, irrelevant or that you honestly know that you will not read today.
- Respond to the 3-5 pressing emails. We define these as email that requires a simple confirmation, yes, no, or an approval of something. If the email requires multiple steps or needs focus time, go to step 4.
- Move the rest of the emails from the inbox into the *ACTIONS folder
- Plan 5-15 minutes per day to sort, delete, store and prioritize these emails into project and action time on your calendar. This will enable you to match the right time and focus to the task at hand. You will get more critical tasks done in less time this way with less effort.
- Use the time you would have spent in your inbox on something more meaningful to you.
This will get you out of the inbox habit of responding to urgent emails all the time and letting your inbox build up until it unleashes a pile of overwhelm like a massive snow avalanche.
Click on the 5 Minute Clarity report above to open and print your copy today!
Please leave a comment below as to how this works for you. If enough people comment, I will create a free, custom training video showing you how to do this in real-time!