Thursday, March 6, 2008

Serenity Tip: Email Time

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?


Meredith Resnick said...

I love this tip. It is something I've thought about but seeing someone else post it helps to make the idea more viable to me. Thanks so much!
Meredith Resnick
Irvine, CA

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, I learned when I wanted to concentrate on writing an article, I'd take the phone off the hook.

All the tricks in the world only save me time on email. If I want to truly get something done, I have to find that same discipline and close down email. (Hint: this is far more difficult for me than the phone off the hook routine. I get the shakes after 15 minutes.)

Julie Sturgeon

Irene S. Levine, PhD said...

Advice needed---

How do you stop yourself from looking at your blog's Google Analytics?