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How To Get Through Any Inbox In Under Ten Minutes

Author: Charlie Cook   |   March 28th, 2011

How many times has this time management faux pas happened to you?

After groggily waking up, you get ready to start your day and sit down at your computer with a steaming cup of fresh-brewed coffee.

You make your normal rounds of ensuring everything looks good on your blog and website. Then you check… 

your favorite news sites for the daily scoop.

After that’s taken care of, you log into your email account to look at your inbox. What you see is daunting, to say the least…

There are about 50 new emails beckoning to be answered. And with only 20 minutes before a client call, that doesn’t even leave you with two minutes to answer each email. You have tons to accomplish today and don’t have much time to sit around answering emails. Sure, you learned time management skills, but in this case, you feel as though you can’t put them to good use.

So what do you do?

The easiest way to get through an overwhelming inbox is to take it step-by-step…or in this case email-by-email. Try to only touch each email one time so you’re minimizing your efforts and avoiding the temptation to procrastinate.

When you open the very first email, it’s a colleague asking you to provide a certain number that’s not right not in front of you. If you put it off, not only has your inbox count stayed exactly the same, but you’ve procrastinated!

Before you touch the next unread email, decide what you’re going to do with the email you’re currently reading.

In this case, you should take the 30 seconds to find the number, send your colleague the reply, and file that message accordingly. As you move from email to email, you’ll notice that as your inbox decreases, so does your workload. And that nagging feeling that you just have to finish going through your email? That one’s gone too.

Once you try this time management tip you’ll see how much time you save, and how much good it feels to know you haven’t put off a thing.

 


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