If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you know that Merlin Mann is speaker/writer who I really admire, particularly for his work on 43folders.com in the realm of productivity. This is another great talk by Mr. Mann given at Rutgers University regarding the value of our time. It’s a must watch for anyone whose willing and understands that he has the ability and the right to take control of his time. Our time and attention are limited. We can’t let it go to waste.
If you’re feeling defeated by e-mail than you should look into Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero system for handling e-mail. You can find information on his blog, 43Folders.com, and his book site, Inboxzero.com. It’s more complex than I intend to describe it here, but it’s what I’ve ussd for years now and it works.
For me Inbox Zero breaks down to two major points:
1. Designate the Times When You Look at Your E-mail
You have to define when you sessions will occur and you have to force yourself into sticking to that schedule. Whether it be once at night, once in the morning, or two times a day, stick to it. Disable the push e-mail on your phone because 9/10 e-mail isn’t pressing. Any pressing matter will be brought to your attention via another communication method.
2. Always Process Your E-Mail Down to Zero
Yes, this is right. Clear out your e-mail eithwr semi-daily or daily. The problem most people is that they treat their e-mail like a to do list and live in their e-mail. Take your life out of e-mail. Get a To-Do list manager, app, or pen and paper. Add events to your calendar, add tasks to your to do lists, and archive appropriately if you choose to or preferably use a notes app. Store information in something like Evernote. Inbox Zero is about living life and you can’t if you’re consumed by e-mail.