The ever-brilliant Gina Trapani of Lifehacker.com fame has a nice piece on getting control of your email over at the Harvard Business “Work Smarter” Blog. Like all tools, email is excellent when used correctly but a nightmare when used without thought. Think of all the email you’ve received that could have been replaced by a phone call.
Or when a colleague copied you in on an email meant for others for no apparent reason. And how does your in-box look when you return from your holidays?
Our inboxes are bursting at the seams!
Gina advocates an “Extreme Make-over” for how we approach email, and although the advice all seems pretty common-sense, adopting just a few of her recommendations should really have a positive impact on your relationship with your email in-box.
She recommends processing emails in batches, rather than checking regularly or responding to emails as they appear on your screen (guilty as charged, M’Lord), unless they represent a task you can achieve in two minutes or less. Outside of these times, your email application could be turned off. I know – the horror!
If Gina’s advice whets your appetite and you’ve got a little more time on your hands, I can recommend the “Inbox Zero” series of posts on the 43 Folders blog, created by the multi-talented Merlin Mann. Read (and implement!) his advice and you’ll be an email ninja in no time.