So yesterday we talked about why email might be blocking your serenity.
Today, let's talk about one way to put email in its place.
There's a new entry in my daily to-do list. This one says: "Email."
Here's how it works:
Every morning around 9 a.m., I got through the emails from yesterday and today (and, since I have a backlog of lots of emails, a week's worth of ancient emails). It's like de-cluttering:
* Look at every single email.
* Ask yourself: Do I need this? Do I need to respond to this? Can I throw it away?
* Respond to it/delete it/file it right away.
In doing this, I found old emails from prospective clients sitting in my inbox to which I could reply and remind them of my presence, filed away emails from old sources and remembered the marketing pitches that I needed to reslant and resend.
And, by the end of the half-hour, I didn't have any niggling emails hanging over my head: No guilt about unreturned emails, forgotten requests, etc. It freed me from constantly checking my email because I knew everything had been dealt with. And with that sense came the belief that I could even close my email program for a few hours and get work done.
Talk about serenity!
Has this worked for you? What are your other email troubles?