founder of naked leader
Clean Your Inbox Week
Time to Read – 40 seconds
Time to get a new inbox strategy – 1 week
I was running a ‘one team one vision one day’ session last week, when a recurring theme cropped up – lack of time. One of the time stealers is always named as – the inbox. People often admit to a feeling of being controlled by their email rather than being in control of their day.
…and by wonderful coincidence I received this email from Monica Seeley – an expert in email processes, etiquette and tips.
Next week – I’ll be continuing the theme but in the meanTIME – Thank You Monica
Clean Out Your Inbox Week – 23 to 27 January 2012
Did you start the year with plans to keep your email under control but now your inbox is rapidly filling up? It is never too late to start again to join the growing band of business users who are determined to make 2012 the year of the ’empty inbox’.
Help is at hand on Monday 23 January with our 5th annual international ‘Clean Out Your Inbox Week’. We are again running this event with Marsh Egan (Inbox Detox) who is the USA’s leading email management guru.
See the full email here…
Give yourself some extra time and next week we’ll consider best use of your new found time.
Love it! So to empty our inboxes, we have to open up our mailboxes to receive dozens of messages telling us how to manage the inbox tsunami!!!
A one-off approach to email management will only work temporarily, for a long-term successful approach to personal productivity, including email management, I’d recommend taking a serious look at David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach http://www.davidco.com/about-gtd.
Having used it myself for the last few years I am now sending my team to training seminars and they are reporting significant benefits in their day to day productivity and the rest of the company is also starting to notice. It takes commitment initially, but the payoffs are substantial and it eventually becomes second nature.
After adopting GTD from David Allen I have got control of my inbox at last. My problem was not only the work mailbox but also the private one, the one for the sports organisation, the physical mail at home and on top of that all projects and activities in private and profession.
There is absolutly ways to get out of the time trap of nonempty inboxes.
I am a specialist advisor for a major company and have a high profile within the company. I am also the only person in the business that does what I do and I work alone. It is true to say I was a slave to my inbox for several years before I started thinking there had to be another way.
The starting point for me was realising that an out of control inbox was just a symptom of lots more bad working practices which also needed to be fixed. I started out with 4 changes:
1. Start talking to people again rather than sending emails – this one change has drastically cut down the number of emails I get.
2. Be very selfish with your time – e.g. if they want you involved ask for how long and why. E.G I no longer sit on conference calls or project committees half the week on the off chance I will be needed.
3. I trained other people in related departments to take on some of the work I had been doing – it was new and interesting work for those departments so they genuinely wanted to do it –and this has freed up more of my time.
4. Make sure you are clear on what the priorities are and have them agreed with your superiors – and hold them to account for any changes. Better still – help shape the priorities too and spell out the benefits. It can be as blunt as “If I work on x,y, and z it will save £x. If I work on a,b and c we will lose the £x – what do you want me to do.”
So for me there was no one way to cut down on emails – it was a case of identifying why I got so many emails in the first place and addressing the underlying issues.
Thanks David, just wanted to thank you for the reminder (which I’m usually pretty good at most of the time) BEFORE I go and do something else!
Email inboxes are there for a reason. They are to help. Emails should not be a chore. they should be a good source of communication.
My outbox is the problem. I tend to ignore the inbox and send people emails without reading the ones I get in. So my outbox can be full messages to people who have emailed me but I haven’t had the time to read. It can get confusing for me.
Can anyone offer any advice apart from the obvious, to read the inbox and action, as I haven’t got the time with my workload.
I do a job where I don’t need a computer. That way you get rid of the in box problem.
Every business has one I know but we don’t all get to use them, thankfully.
I find life a lot easier by ringing people.
i didn’t want to join the hi-tech revolution but find my mobile is useful. Computer? Don’t need it.
Power to you for not having an inbox.
Wow, wouldn’t that be something?
I envy you!
I agree. A world without an inbox would be great.
Just phonecalls. However did we manage years ago?
I like Tony’s advice above. Speak to more people. That way the lines of communication are so much better.
The art of communication is something that has been lost with emails.
They can be perceived in different ways too because they don’t always come out how they were intended. Some things look different in print.
So rather than say the wrong thing, or look like you are saying it in the wrong tone, or not how it was meant to sound, just make a call. It’s easier and more effective.
I agree emails should be used more sparingly.
People in our office don’t even speak to each other when they are sitting next door. They email.
Clogging up inboxes must be the scourge of offices.
Emails have to be used.
It’s the only effective way of communication when offices are spread far and wide.
The art of conversation was never a strong point in companies anywhere anyway because bosses don’t encourage talking in some businesses.