Remember your first days on email? Remember? They were glorious! At the click of a button we could communicate anytime day or night. Ahhh, those were the days! Today, we lose roughly 2.1 hours (28% of our day) to the interruption and distraction of an ineffective strategy for email. It's time we make email our BFF.
Business Growth Strategy: Reboot Your Email Strategy
My recent shot at “unplugging” created some surprising new insights. No longer blinded by the daily flurry of email I had a chance to reboot my approach toward email.
My pre-insight approach went like this: I awoke at 5:30 am and went directly to my inbox with a nice hot cup of coffee. With an empty inbox, I was refreshed and ready for my day.
By 9 am, invigoration faded into overwhelm as others arrived at work and launched into their inbox. With an inbox stuffed with emails, I was sucked back into my inbox, like an addict to cocaine. The carefully crafted plans for my day had been foiled.
My post-insight approach is this: I still get up at 5:30 am to start my day with 30 minutes of reading and a nice cup of caffeine. Next, I head to my “Daily Goal Planner” to work on projects related to my goals.
By 9 – 10 am, most colleagues have launched into their email. Whatever emails need my attention are waiting in my inbox. I focus on email knowing that my priorities for the day are complete.
As a result, I no longer “live” in my inbox.
Business Growth Strategy: Make Email Actionable
Although email can be an effective communication tool, the truth is that most emails require some sort of action. Acted upon in the moment and your entire day is consumed.
One of my clients turned me on to this little gem — Active Inbox* — because emails aren't letters, they're tasks. It flips the way one views email, and how email is approached.
Rather than read an email, take action, and respond, I now review email for the purpose of determining what action is required by when. Once parameters are assigned, the email is removed from your inbox to be handled at a time of your choosing!
Ahhh, now that's relief! The world looks new and shiny now that my head isn't full of stuff in my inbox.
Are you ready to make friends with your email? Test your assumption that you have to be always “in” your inbox, and share how it changed your view of the world.
*Active Inbox currently works with gmail only.