Organize your emails

Create the following 2 folders:

  • Require Action besides simply responding.
  • Require Response. File emails here that you are unable to respond to immediately.

All other emails, once read, should go directly to their appropriate permanent files using rules.

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Communication

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Empty your inbox

Make sure you bring your inbox count down to zero so you can start fresh the next morning.

Any messages that still need to be dealt with should be either moved or responded to.

  • What’s the main point of your email? 
  • What action do you want the recipient to take? 
  • What critical facts do you need to get across in your email?

Give yourself a limit to the length of your response and stick to it. 

Interrupting a task with notifications leads to a loss of concentration and a decline in productivity levels.

Feel free to set up an autoresponder re-directing all urgent matters to your phone.

Choose a couple of times during the day when you’ll deal with your email. 

Create email signatures ready to go to save time and annoyance when you’re composing or responding to emails.

Rules are automatic actions your email software will take depending on what guidelines you’ve set up.

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Ignore your inbox when you wake up

Responding to emails as soon as you receive a notification gives others the impression that you’re at their beck and call. It also prevents you from reflecting on your own priorities for the day.

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Adopt GTD Methodology in Email

think of every email you get as either something you need to take action on, track, or refer to later. 

Every time you open a conversation, decide right away what to do with it. Don’t postpone and come back to it. You touch it once and move on.

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Check email only at set points during the day. 
  • you may decide that you'll only check your email before lunch, and at the end of the day.
  • you can also reserve time to read and respond to email after a long period of focused work, or at the time of day when your energy and creativity are at their lowest.

Also, explain to your colleagues/boss/clients that you only check email at certain times, and that they can call you or use instant messaging if the matter is really urgent.

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