Alanis Morissette could have used this next statement as a lyric in her hit song:
Snail mail has become faster to deal with than email!!!
Don’t ya think? Well it doesn’t quite fit her song’s rhythm and rhyme scheme unless you sing this parody version,
“It’s like snail mail…on your wedding day!”
Well, that’s not ironic either. Getting back to the point though, I have just achieved another milestone in my quest to declutter, this time it’s digital: I have cleared up ample space in my Outlook inbox! Yes! Over 3500 work emails from 2016 were deleted (I am ashamed to admit that I was collecting this much).
Once again, I can’t speak highly enough about Cyril Peupion’s book “Work Smarter: Live Better”. I raved about him in my post Tips to slay #2017 on 3 January. Now that I see an empty inbox, I can apply Cyril’s one touch,one decision policy to my email management. I marvel at how I process my physical mail in a fraction of the time it takes me to process emails: now which one should be referred to as ‘snail mail’. Admittedly, I receive so many more emails per day than physical envelopes but the difference in my processing time is that I make faster decisions about how to action the physical mail. Hence, one touch,one decision. I highly recommend this policy to my teaching colleagues!
Cyril has a very useful flowchart in his book which demonstrates an effective email management system:
Great tips to reduce inbox clutter and increase productivity:
- Avoid using your inbox as a filing system.
- If you can say it to their face, don’t email it.
- Don’t cc people in if they don’t need to know and/or don’t need to take action.
- Write a clear title in the subject line and where possible, keep the message brief.
- Think before you hit send, be kind to your colleagues and respect their time.
- Don’t attach huge files. Use the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, or the like) and just send a link.
- Turn off new email notifications.
- Only check your emails once or twice a day (e.g. 11am and 3pm). I know this sounds hard but it will keep you focussed on other tasks which will make a huge difference to your overall performance and mindfulness.
- Most people are not on call 24/7. Do not check your work email after hours: be strict about this and respect your delicate work/life balance.
I find so many of Cyril’s practical ideas to be amazing and energising because I feel like I have regained control of my workflow and this alleviates stress. I’m curious to know how many emails you currently have sitting in your inbox? Can you beat 3500? If so, then you need to read this book and apply it’s valuable advice. (I am not being endorsed to say this).
Remember to activate your noise filter (read my post on 5 January) and your joy will be easier to find beneath the many thick layers of life that blind us.
#purge #noisefilter #declutter
More smart tips can be found here: