The busier you get the more you realise you can’t do everything. The solution I’ve found is to streamline, in every area of life. If that means always having the same breakfast (bircher muesli with almond milk, delish!) or scheduling all my meetings for the week on Monday morning then every little helps. My biggest thing that I’ve been trying to get a handle on over the last year or so is emails.
If I kept my inbox open permanently I would do nothing all day. The constant bombardment of emails and info is super distracting, sometimes stressful and always unproductive. I get pushed and pulled in every direction, and before you know it my original plans for the day are out of the window. So these are the tricks I’ve found that work to make it all a bit more manageable for me.
First up and most important, now I schedule times when I dip in and out of emails. I don’t leave my inbox sitting open on the computer while I’m trying to get other things done, otherwise I end up snowed under with junk emails or answering an email just to get a “Whoops! Change of plan” subject line land in my inbox 3 minutes later… Nobody’s got time for that. Instead I take a look first thing in the morning, lunchtime and again in the afternoon and evening. I give myself 90 mins to just blitz through and reply to everything.
BE BRUTALLY DECISIVE
When I’m on my email blitz the rules are – reply, trash or if I absolutely have to, I flag them to come back and reply later. If I can’t reply within the week I call or trash. Simple! It helps to be brutally decisive, otherwise things hang around forever on your to-do list, quickly build up and you get totally overwhelmed. This is the equivalent of me going all KonMari on my pad and decluttering, only for my inbox and it’s much quicker. Nothing more satisfying than having an empty inbox – I also love auto unsubscribing apps for the same reason.
SHORT & SWEET
The best thing I’ve found is to keep emails short and to the point. Stay polite obviously, but nobody needs to get me yabbering on and on (I have the blog for that!). Also apparently people are more likely to reply to a short email, and the average email reply is only 5 words. Super short! I also only send the emails I absolutely need to because the magic think about emails is the fewer you send = the fewer you get. Amazing! (Kind of like Christmas presents…)
NO SLIP UPS
Embarrassing no-no’s to avoid – writing the wrong name, jumping the gun and sending before you’ve finished typing or added the attachment, or sending to the wrong person (eek!). We’ve probably all done this and it can be majorly confusing or embarrassing. Check, check and triple check I say. Also a good trick to make sure you never send too soon is to simply switch round your email technique. Write the body of your email first and only when it’s all finished type in the recipients. Simple!