Good email management starts with a strategy and is honed by consistency. Having hundreds of unread emails in your inbox probably isn’t “best practice”, but it can happen if you don’t have a solid methodology for coping with the influx of emails.
Any time-management course will engage you fairly early on with the “Urgent, Important” table.
The same principle applies to your Inbox and Outlook has tools that can utilise these principles:
- Some e-mails are important, but not urgent.
- Some will be urgent, but not important.
- Some are neither urgent, nor important – some both.
The most “not-important, not-urgent” e-mail in transmission is undoubtedly SPAM. We’re not going to spend time addressing the issue here, but if you are finding this stuff in your inbox consistently then we can help you get it under control; please call us to discuss the matter as SPAM is something that can certainly be minimised.
“Processing” emails is the concept of setting blocks of time aside during each day to deal with all of the emails in the inbox, with the goal of keeping the number of emails stored in it down to a bare minimum; those that still require action, but have not as yet been processed. Outside of those blocks of scheduled time, the aim is to keep out of the inbox as much as possible, getting on with your meatier tasks and key objectives.
The aim of processing is to
- deal with each message there and then; not to simply open it, read it, close it and therefore need to come back to it again and
- only keep emails in your inbox that are current and requiring action from you
Tomorrow we’ll cover off on a simple methodology for email processing.