While waiting for a movie to start, I noticed an ongoing Twitter conversation–check out PrincipalPLN Blog— that should intrigue any administrator: how to stay on top of your email, or how to achieve the mythical Inbox Zero.
|Watch/listen this discussion|
If you’re not familiar with InboxZero concept, you may want to read this:
Inbox Zero is a rigorous approach to email management aimed at keeping the inbox empty — or almost empty — at all times.
Inbox Zero was developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann. According to Mann, the zero is not a reference to the number of messages in an inbox; it is “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in his inbox.” Mann’s point is that time and attention are finite and when an inbox is confused with a “to do” list, productivity suffers.
Source: What is InBox Zero?
Some of the tips shared in the video included:
- For incoming emails, take action on it right away.
- If an email results in a task, Curt Rees sends it to OmniFocus (e.g. Mac, iOS only) with a deadline/due date in the form of a task.
- Adhere to the Five Sentences:
- five.sentenc.es is a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be five sentences or less. It’s that simple. You can read more about this approach in this article, Productivity LifeSaver: The 5-Sentence Email.
- David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done
- Have a system for what you’re going to do.
- Don’t let email dictate how you are going to spend your time. Don’t worry about email at home…make yourself available in other ways.
- Don’t let your inbox be your do list.
- Don’t clutter anyone else’s inbox…recognize when email is not appropriate and needs to be F2F. Don’t try to justify everything in writing because you lose the emotional impact.
After listening to the PrincipalPLN podcast, I was inspired to share my top 5 tips:
- Create ToDo outside of your email. Since I rely on Evernote (and you can do this with the free version), I forward work-related tasks to “WorkToDo” and personal tasks to “iDo” list. Anything that goes into my “ToDo” notebook is something I check on. I can also assign it as a “Reminder” in Evernote.
- Your email should answer 5 questions: Who are you? What do you want? Why are you asking me? Why should I do what you’re asking? What is the next step?
- Cut out excessive details.
- Short emails help you stay focused.
- Limit all your emails unless they are praising; be lavish in your praise.
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