People tend to think of Inbox Zero as an absolute state. It’s talked about as if it’s some magical destination at the end of some mystical journey. Who are we kidding?
To keep our sanity, it’s much better to think of Inbox Zero as part of a larger productivity method. Try thinking of it as a repeating task on your long journey to a more productive existence.
Email has gotten a bad rap recently because so many have been unable to control it. Left uncontrolled, it quickly consumes us with stress, worry and inability to stay focused on anything.
We all agree that we can’t live without email. I am sure there are a few out there reading this post, and raising an eyebrow. So for those, I say: “Just try to manage your tasks for a few days without answering or sending emails. Let’s see where that lands you, ok?”
Email, on top of a task delegation, is also the way we communicate with our peers, customers and pretty much everyone.
…That’s the way it works.
So, instead of fighting email; embrace it. But embrace it with a plan. Start focusing on processing email into Actions, Projects, Someday Items, Ticklers, Reference Information, and Trash. (Thanks David Allen). Remember, try to achieve Inbox Zero on a daily basis; once achieved, you should look forward to, not dread, the next inbox-clearing session.
It’s time to take your emails seriously…
Email isn’t going anywhere
It’s here to stay and it only grows in volume. It’s why you need to be on top of your game because even in the distant future, email will dominate business and personal communication as it has done so for the last 20 years.
Email survived the leap from desktop computers to laptops to mobile to tablets; you can bet it’ll be present in the next technological leap.
If you want to be less stressed and reach your goals, you have to process email daily and effectively; that’s where inbox zero comes in. Notice that I said daily and not every five seconds. Set one or two times to check your email and that should be the time to achieve Inbox Zero Knowing your inbox is under control as well as knowing that you are dictating your daily agenda, will get you closer to your daily moment of Zen.
Ultimately, it gives you confidence in your method and tool set, and that’s what the productivity Holy Grail is all about, right?
This type of confidence can be achieved only if you process your email effectively and here is how…
Processing is part of the Bigger Picture
1st Ask yourself where is your email going?
Whether you follow GTD® or any other productivity method, be sure to process email into lists that you manage effectively. For example, by processing an email into an Action, you must have the confidence that you review your action list frequently. You must have faith that you select actions to complete based on your personal objectives and your available time and resources.
Processing email means that you ensure the continued treatment of that email in a system that you trust. A system that ensures you are managing your obligations in line with what you want to get done. Without the aforementioned, you’ll just be shuffling your email around to lists.
2nd Get the right type of Speed?
There is no getting around it; you’ll still have to read the email and make a decision as to how you’d like to proceed. Unless you become a speed-reader, you’ll need to find the right type of processing speed elsewhere.
What am I talking about? Technology, Software, innovation! Think how much time it takes to take an email – create an action, update a reminder, set a due date, set a Context, and then move the email out of your inbox; tens of seconds to say the least, right? Now, multiply that times the number of emails you process daily, weekly, monthly. … You get the point. You have better things to do.
Since email is key to your overall productivity; it should be integrated and a part of your overall productivity application. At IQTELL, we want to make sure you’ll reach inbox zero with confidence, we integrated email in IQTELL; it’s not a separate app.
But there’s more… We focused on getting you the right type of speed. Using IQTELL’s latest feature, EZ Email™, we cut down processing speed (e.g., the “tens of seconds per email described above) by more than 90%. See it in action in the video below.