Time bandit and email overwhelm aside, we all need email.
Email truly is the main tool for business communication, marketing, and sales.
It’s the main tool for business. But many of us are in email overwhelm.
What to do because if you ignore it …
Busy entrepreneurs like us rely on email to get things done. We spend enormous amounts of time receiving them, storing them, reading them, responding to them, and a lot of the time, doing all of that all over again.
What if I could show you how to “take back time” from the email time bandit?
Whenever I say these words I’m reminded of Cher’s song 🎶🎶 “If I could turn back time” 🎶🎶 Of course, we can’t “turn back time” but we can most certainly do things that feel like we slow it down and maybe even get some back…in the future.
So get your “Yes! I’m ready to learn, Garry” hat on and let’s get started.
Throughout this lesson, I’ll be introducing various concepts.
Here’s concept one. Only handle it once.
Recently I was listening to an interview with an author who spoke about distractions – specifically phone distractions. Interestingly he stands by the “only handle it once” concept.
How it translates for me is that when you receive an email you take one of these four actions:
Let’s start with Eliminate.
Just say no!…to unnecessary emails. So many emails we signed up for were because “that looks interesting” or “just in case” or “I’ll get to them someday”. Unknowingly they clutter the back of our minds as “one more thing I’ll get to later.”
Many of my clients have tens of thousands of such emails – sitting unopened in their inboxes. They border on being proud of it – like it’s a badge of honor that says something like “Look at me. I’m important.” It’s time to unsubscribe AND delete. Ask yourself a really heartfelt “why am I getting and keeping these emails”. Try it once and I’ll just bet you’ll feel so relieved you’ll keep doing it.
JUST GET RID OF THEM!
- Step 1: Unsubscribe from the emails
- Step 2: Find and delete all previously received emails from that source.
- Step 3: Repeat
Next: Let’s Get Organized.
Reduce the number of things and places you have to check. Like emails. Remember that emails are our business tool, our bread and butter…and our biggest time taker. Keep your emails all in one place by getting something like a Gmail account and connect all of your email accounts to one inbox. You can easily send with the email of choice if you do have more than one email persona.
Check it out sometime. It has made my life super easy and makes me look professional.
Next: Let’s Automate.
Filter, filter, FILTER! A big stressor can be the number of emails in your immediate inbox. This requires time to look at them then decide what to do with them. Or not look at them and dwell on the number of emails in your inbox. A quick remedy for this is to create filters. Most email systems have one. Gmail does and I use it ALL the time.
So then you ask “but I still have the emails to look at”. Well if you filter then to “look at the later” then book some time in your calendar to do just that, look at them later. That will do a few things. You will realize how much time is spent on these emails, and you can evaluate whether they really are the best use of your limited resources. If it’s the latter, go back to step 2 and joyously declare victory. Delete the source and the backlog of emails. Just do it!
I use Gmail for all my email and it makes both folders and filtering are super easy to set up.
Finally: Time to Delegate.
This might be the toughest step of all.
Most of us think of email inboxes as being very personal. It’s our little secret place.
I thought the same thing until it dawned on me…these are all business emails.
I did not have to be the only accessing.
So I started by creating a folder for work areas like JVP’s (Joint Venture Partners) and then giving access to my manager in charge of JVP’s.
It’s working wonderfully and now I am allowing others to access especially when I’m too busy to get in there.
Time won’t come back overnight but with consistent action, you will in time, get back time.
I’ve written a lot of posts similar to the time bandit and email overwhelm in my other blog posts.
Let us know how it’s going here or in our Facebook community.