“ This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure. ”
To continue our quest to inbox zero, here are further tips to attaining Maslow’s self-actualization by reaching the seemingly stratospheric and elusive high-ground of Inbox Zero:
- Make the most of your time: OK, so you are standing in a lineup at the checkstand (typical with Christmas shopping at this time of year). Open your Smartphone and start zapping emails…
- Get creative with Labels. Create folders with names that are relevant to you such as “travel” or “family” or “events” and file incoming emails into the relevant folder. Get rid of the emails from your Inbox!!
- OK – admit it. You are a procrastinator…(or at least I am)…and take a deep breath there are tons of things that You Would Rather Be Doing than spending time dealing with the dregs in your Inbox. This is where all those Psychology classes that you took come in…positive reinforcement and all that….remember? You need to create a reward for yourself for spending 15 mins dealing with those bleeping emails. Set the reward. Set the timer.. now ..GO. Get as many emails dealt with as you can in the 15 mins and then ….give yourself the reward. GOOD. Now …honestly – how do you feel? Wonderful? Satisfied? Remember that. And do it ..often…!! Reward yourself for doing what you know that you need to do…
- Make Appointments with Yourself. Yes we have mentioned this before..but we think that this is an important one. Take emails that will take time and “drag and drop” them into your calendar (most email apps will allow you to do this ..if not..just block and copy). This way you have made a commitment to..yourself..to deal with it. Do it!!!! The important factor here is to commit to setting aside time to deal with this matter by making a personal appointment with yourself. Do you want to disappoint yourself? No? Good. Now do the follow thru!!
- Remember those nice emails from well-minded people that just want you to ….STOP. Right now! These people are stealing time from you …and playing a guilt trip at the same time. You have NO obligation to do anything with an email that you have been sent from someone you don’t really know who just asks you to to something not on your To Do List for today….You are the ultimate gatekeeper on your time. Hit the delete key. I betcha you will NEVER hear from these people again.(for better or worse…). Don’t let other people control your life or your tasks or your sense of what is important for you to do today.
- Make a Plan: take your day and decide what is important for you to do TODAY. Stick to it. If the emails in your email box don’t fit in what you need or must or want do deal with …stick them into a ‘suspense’ folder …or just delete them if they are not relevant to a file (and if they are, put them in that folder for that file and create a to do to deal with them..later). Your success in life is determined by what you do ..and that is based on your list of the most important items in your to do list. Look at your Inbox..if the matters there don’t fit in your Plan ..you have a decision to make.. but don’t agonize over it…Do it ..and MOVE ON!!
- OK the kicker: Once you open an email – don’t just close it. Deal. With. It. Now. Decide: is this something I must deal with NOW; should I schedule a time or is it simply a time sink and something to ignore? Now? Later? Never? Decide!!!!! And stick with it.
- The Bitter End: The fact is that I am guilty of all of these things..and more to boot. It takes diligence and patience and lots of positive reinforcement to change behaviours that have become engrained. I know it isn’t going to happen overnight. But it will happen if you if you are diligent. If we are going to attain the rarified heights of inbox zero, this is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure…