Thursday, May 27, 2010

Time saving tips: email inbox management

I'm always trying to find ways to work more efficiently. The key to mental work efficiency is focus. Focus on just one task at a time and group a bunch of things together so I do the same work easily. I made two simple changes to my outlook program and it's helping me to be more productive.

1) Turn-off all the incoming email notification. No icon in the task bar. No beep or message window. Nothing.
2) Setup a incoming email folder and direct all the email where I'm on the CC to that folder.

Not getting distracted by incoming email is a big boost for my productivity. My concentration is not randomly broken by a little icon or a pop-window. I'm still checking my inbox way too much. But, I'm checking my inbox between tasks instead of in the middle of it. When I check my inbox, I only read and respond to emails send directly to me. I don't even read the CC email. My objective is limit myself to read CC email just twice a day. It's not going to be easy, but with these 2 simple changes I definitely feel more focused and productive.

I'm heard rave reviews about the book "Get Things Done". I haven't read it yet. It's on my to read list. I bet this tip would be in there.

1 comment:

BM said...

I like your tips on email management.
At guy at work was a fan of GTD (Getting Things Done) and he devised a 0-Inbox policy. He literally at the end of day had no emails. What he did (and I replicated) was to create a Top Priority folder: any email directly To me or I was in the CC list would go in that folder. Everything else would just be Inbox material.
Also, he archived his email on a quarterly basis which cleared his Inbox pretty well.

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