You can do all your emails in 20 minutes or less. Easy.

If you are like most people email is a chore. A bore. A frustration. An overload. Your inbox is barely clear and in comes another load. It’s like the bus or the train emptying at a busy station. Just when you think it is done another one arrives. The frustrating part is most emails are useless. You are unlikely to remember them. most of them are follow ups, chasers or complaints. Rarely if ever does one “enjoy” reading an email. Yet this can suck up your day, your work week and sometimes your work life.

So how can you do your emails easily in 20 minutes per day and be free the rest of the day to do what really really matters.

  1. Do emails 2X a day – 10 minute slots. These are 2 slots in the day – morning and evening when you find a quiet space or go out of office or wear headphones, plug in with focus and will read and reply to all your emails. Rest of the day – close your inbox and shut notifications. If you don’t you will be suffering from action addiction – the small high we get when we see a new message. Only way to focus is to fix 2 slots max and stick to them. it will take 1 week to get used to it but you will save enormous amounts of time from email onload.
  1. Open in batches – It’s a surprising fact that the time taken to open and close an email is the same as the time taken to read the email. Hence open your inbox in batches – 10 to 20 at a time. You will note that half are cc emails where no action is needed – these can be closed asap. some will need a short acknowledgement or acceptance reply. 75-80% of the emails can be read and replied if you open them in batches
  1. Mark the ones that matter – 10% or less will be mails that merit thinking, crafting a proper reply or analyzing the content before reverting. Mark them as to be replied or park them in a separate folder. Clear this folder once a week at a fixed time – say a Monday or a Friday to revert back to the person concerned
  1. For Conflicts switch to phone – Emails foster, propogate and grow conflicts, never resolve them. so the moment you are in an email chain involving disagreement, difference of view, challenges and questions STOPPPPPPPPPPPPP !! pick up the phone. Talk to the relevant person. Do not add to the email conflict trail. One phone call is worth 10 or sometimes 50 emails
  1. Commit to Inbox Zero – Set a goal to have inbox zero. If you have never had it before then take out 2 days to clear all unread emails. Will give you massive amounts of peace of mind – unresolved and unread emails are a cause of latent tension and stress. Remove it from your work life.

You can do all your emails in 20 minutes or less. Easy.

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