Find more time in your day, Tip #2: prioritize your emails
Although all emails can start to look alike after a while, not ALL of them need your attention right now (and may NEVER need your attention, EVER!).
Taking the time to put your emails in the right priority first, then reading and responding to them gets you through that task a wholeeeeeee lot faster. Just adding this process to my email reading task has changed how I look at emails.
It is amazing how things I once thought I MUST respond to right now were seriously eating away at my time and making me feel productive when I wasn’t!
Yuck, hate when that happens!
Looking realistically, and honestly, at what you’re doing with your time isn’t always easy, and it definitely does give you a way to take DO-ABLE steps to change what you’re doing so you’re more successful.
Getting your inbox to zero, zip, nadda feels sooooooooooo fine it just may be your next “addiction.” And I think that’s a safe one, how about you?
- Create folders for organizing and prioritizing your email
- For example, create a folder called “Immediate Attention Needed,” “Review today,” “Review Tomorrow,” “Review When I Have Time,” “Need Additional Information,” “Done”
- Or, if you’re a numbers person, create folders like “Priority 1,”, “Priority 2,” etc.
- Set a timer for the amount of time you want to focus on responding to email
- Do NOT do anything else (believe me, multi-tasking doesn’t help you get more done)
- Scan your inbox
- Do NOT read them, you’re scanning for priority right now
- Move each email to the folders you’ve created, continuing until all unread emails have been moved to the correct folder
- Open the “Immediate Action Needed” folder
- Respond to those emails until all of them are handled OR your preset time limit is up
- Move them to your “Done” folder
- If you have more time available, check your “Need Additional Information” folder to see if any of those emails can be cleared out
- If you still have some time available, check the messages in your next highest priority folder
- When your preset time limit is up, move on to your next money making task