I have a crazy rule. Well actually I have many but the one I stick to the most is to never leave work or start the day with more than 25 emails in my inbox.
My inbox is my “to do list”, it’s actionable items that are still open.
When clients or business associates need something they email it to you. Whether it be a question, a quote request, or job information it tends to always come in an email. How we ever survived in the business world without email is mind boggling. It has to be the fastest and most efficient way to disseminate information, but can also be a major time-sucker especially when you are trying to navigate through hundreds of non-filed emails each day.
You have two choices:
You can let your inbox manage you or you can manage your inbox. Once an email has been read and actioned and no longer requires additional work it should go to one of two places, a named file folder or the trash. I keep files on clients, suppliers and subfolder them appropriately. I keep a misc. file for stuff that is a bit random but too important for the trash and then, of course, a personal file for anything non business related. I even keep a file called “great emails” where I save all glowing client comments on what a fantastic job we have done for them.
When emails are organized and inboxes are managed we are way more productive, it’s like having a clean desk. When our inbox is overflowing the likelihood of dropping the ball is much too great.
I challenge you to embrace the power of 25 or less!