A few months ago I introduced you to “The Secret Weapon” Evernotes solution to email mastery. Here are some additional tips to help you get focused with your email. The steps outlined below fit well with Evernotes process, when you look at the Focused Flow Chart For Email remember that “To Do List” and “Evernote” are the same (if you followed my earlier advice that is!)
The concept of developing productive email habits is simple. So, we’ll jump straight to it now:
1. Set a schedule
When I first set out to make email as productive as possible, I made the mistake of simply telling myself to check email less than five times per day. I didn’t define a schedule. I ended up checking email less frequently than I normally did, but I didn’t develop the productivity that I could have developed. Thus, in order to actually make this process work, you’ll need to clearly define two times per day when you’ll check email.
Here’s the authors schedule:
Monday through Friday: 10am and 3pm (I check mine four times a day since the majority of my work communication is by email)
Weekends: Check personal email once per day, and don’t check work email at all
2. If you’ve left an item unread, you fail
Before outlining the principles of effective email use below, please understand that the key with avoiding procrastination centers on processing every single email, and taking a specific action with it. Choosing to not do anything will hurt your productivity. There are four actions that you must take when processing email:
3. Add to your to-do list (Evernote)
4. Do it now
The action you must avoid is leaving items marked unread. If you’ve left an item unread, you fail. You’ve procrastinated.
3. The three questions
Below is the process that will allow you to conquer email, and make email a productive, swift time for getting things done.
That’s it. It’s simple, yet takes some practice to implement effectively.
How have you done at mastering your inbox?