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Getting email under control

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by

Bert Igodt

on 17 June 2014

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Transcript of Getting email under control

Use the simplest approach that still works
Best practices
#1
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#4
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Simple questions
How many mails do you have in your inbox?
Simple questions
How many mails still need an answer?
Solution
Empty your inbox
The ongoing challenge
A zero-inbox is fantastic
ACTION
Simple questions
How many answers do you still expect?
Disadvantages of the current approach
You are losing time scanning for your next action!
Getting email under control
Agenda
Introduction
Disadvantages of current approach
Solution
Workflow
Action
Ongoing challenge
Best practices
A little test to end
You are losing time evaluating each item over and over again!
You are distracted when acting for an item each time a new item pops up!
You are stressed due to the uncertainty about the amount, the priority and the severity of your work!
CHAOS
How sure are you that you have not forgotten anything?
How many mails contain action points for you?
How many read (versus unread) ones?
Emptying <> finishing the work
Emptying = deciding what has to happen and organize accordingly
Emptying costs less effort than continuously rereading and reassessing
Check on them regularly to feel OK
These practices make the process as efficient as possible
But keeping up with mails is still not free
This takes time and mental energy
Accept this as you accept commuting time
Separate places
for actionable and non actionable items
Inbox is a processing stage, not a storage bin
Separate folder for actions
Separate reference system (archive)
Keep the inbox
clean
Purge your inbox at least daily, but not too often neither!
Alternate the
processing
stage (emptying your inbox) and the
working
stage (executing actual work)
Learn to
type fast
(> 50 words a minute)
http://www.typingtest.com/
ctrl + 1: go to messages
ctrl + 2: go to agenda
ctrl + 4: go to tasks

ctrl + q: indicate message as read
ctrl + u: indicate message as unread

ctrl + shift + m: new message (from any window)

Search the internet for dozens and dozens
Learn to use
shortcuts
http://www.gtdiq.com/media/pdf/email.pdf

Think about this

Before:
"Hey boss, I have 2000 emails, and I have the feeling I have just too much work, can you help me prioritize these?"
"Euhm, do we have to go over all of these?"
"No, only 35 are active."
"Which ones?"
"Euhm..."
Now:
"Hey boss, I have a list of things to do, and every week, the list grows by 15 items. I need help on prioritizing these."
"Ok, show me."
"Well, here they are."
Full transcript