Reprinted with permission from SoBeOrganized.com
It is 2013 and everyone from your child’s teacher to your library want a slot in your inbox. Clearly, if you don’t manage your email it will manage you.Sorry to be brutal but don’t come crying to me that your inbox has 4000 emails in it if you don’t have a plan.Here are the 6 steps I took that enabled me to have no more than 20 emails in my inbox at any given time. You too can achieve email bliss.1.
Thanks to the 80/20 rule, 80% of the inbox clutter is going to be from email subscriptions that you willingly or unwittingly subscribed to. Trust me, you don’t need 5 emails a day from 87 stores telling you about their latest sale / offer / new item / hot tip. You will be just as fashionable and frugal without their ‘advice’. Go on, you can do it, hit that unsubscribe button and hold onto one or two subscriptons that you just can’t exist without. Having a hard time hitting that unsubscribe button ? Tell yourself you will earn $25 a year for every place you unsubscribe from. It is true, your time is money and less email clutter is worth big bucks!
2. Block out a chunk of time to go through the backlog.
Just like any huge pile of clutter, your email clutter is not going to disappear by itself ( sorry). The next time you get sick,bored or want something to do that feels important but involves minimal brain activity go ahead and go through ALL of those old emails. Hit that delete button like a maniac and read one in every 500 emails. Save a few important ones and make sure to label and archive them well.
3. Weekly detox
Once you have cleaned out your backlog it is time to set up weekly times to detox or else in 93 days you will be right back where you started. Set aside one or two slots of time specifically for responding to and deleting or archiving emails. They say that a goal not written down is just a wish, so get practical and decide on which time slots will work for you and commit to them.4. Tell Your (Google) Calendar about your plans to delete
Put the detox slots in your calendar and have them reoccur weekly with an alarm. Don’t hit snooze, do the legwork needed to achieve email bliss.
5. Label and Archive Really Well
Often there is a tendency to keep emails in our inbox because quite frankly we are scared that if we let them out of our site we will never see them again. By creating a simple yet effective digital filing and labelling system you will begin to trust yourself to move those important items from your inbox to your filing system.
6. Smart folders
Set up smart folders for forwarding specific emails, so you can easily access them if you choose to without them ruining your inbox of 7.It will take some time to get your email inbox under control, but the initial time investment will be sure to yield healthy returns. What other tricks do you recommend for culling those emails ?
So how does a Mum of *7* manage Kids,Work & The Universe? Seriously, if you find out, please let me know. In the mean time if you feel like the world around you is spinning with too much to do in too little time you are in the right place.
Here is where you’ll find complex time management made really really simple, because life has a way of getting way too complicated. Whether you are a mom, an entrepreneur a disgruntled employee or an empty nester life has a tendency to throw things at us all. Come learn from my mistakes and finally get it all together, come on, it is taking you more energy to be disorganized that it is for you to be organized. (You know I gave birth to baby number 4 in the car – right ?)
Here are some of the most common questions Rivka is asked:
How did you get started in the time management business?
Because I was losing my mind. What pathetic skills I employed to house and clothe 2 children didn’t work when I tried the big family – special needs dance. I am still not organized by nature, but have taught myself how to retain my sanity while having way too much to get done. Thus, the better I manage my time, the more sane I am. I really don’t like it when I turn into crazy Mom so doing the time management thing keeps that beast away. Also, it is important to know that I have a somewhat perturbing obsession with stripes. How do you do it all ? I don ‘t. I write lots of lists, manage my interruptions really well and drink lots of coffee. I wake up mega early too which really helps, just don’t talk to me past 9pm.
What are a few time management tips you treasure?
Manage those interruptions The morning starts the night before Later = never Write down the key 10 items you want to get done tomorrow Don’t confuse efficient and effective It’s all about retrieval, if you can’t find it you don’t own it Don’t put it down, put it away Also, I aim to have an echo in every room. Sorry they are in Twitter format, my mind is starting to work in #140 symbols
What advice would you give someone who feels in over their head?
I feel your pain babes and you probably haven’t had a decent shower in a week either. You are in too deep and your brain is telling you that, so thank your brain for staying normal, while you went woo-hoo. Give yourself 5 days to get a meal plan in place , a bedtime plan for the kids and you and get the laundry into a system and get that cleaning done in the morning while you have energy. Powernap for 20 mins each afternoon and you will feel like a new person, guaranteed.