I often hear stories, how people are so busy, they struggle fitting everything into a day. I used to be one of those people and I made steps to organise myself and have never looked back since. How To Be More Productive can come in many different ways. But the main point is that you need to take ownership of the issue. Be aware and accept that you need to make changes. Once you are at this stage, then you are ready to get started!
In this series of Time Management posts, we will look at different areas of your life. Start taking steps forward. Create the life that you want and leave the one behind that is full of stuff that is pushing you down. This week we will look at email organisation.
How To Be More Productive – My Friend Has 3,000 Emails In Their Inbox
This is not a joke. This is 100% true. In fact, I know a few people that are in this situation. It is scary to read and even scarier to be the owner of all those emails. And when I say friend, Ido mean a friend, I am not talking about myself.
If this is you, do not be alarmed. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Quite the opposite in fact. You are another victim of the high-tech world that we live in. And emails are one of the easiest ways of communicating all over the world.
We use emails for work. We use them to contact our friends. Salespeople use them to sell us things. The list goes on… and on….and on…
So, the days are gone when we used to write a letter, walk to the post box and send it. Now we can communicate with somebody else in a matter of minutes. Or seconds if you are a fast typist and do not have much to say 🙂
When It All Goes Wrong
So, if you have 3,000+ emails, it gets to the point that another one or two coming into your account, does not mean anything to you. All you can do is quickly read the subject title and see who it is from. If it is important you click on it and find out more. If not, you leave it and it sits there in your Inbox staring at you. In fact, if you leave it longer it eventually goes onto another page. “Out of sight, Out of mind” makes everything feel great again. Yay!
But this is obviously not a great solution. Letting emails gather and collate is a time bomb. Literally.
You have an important meeting, which you forget to put in your diary. You remember that somebody sent you an email about it, but you cannot remember their name. So, your only option is to use the search function and put in random search words until you locate it. How much time does this take you? 10 mins, 30 mins, 1 hour?
Imagine if you had that time you wasted, but it was especially just for you! The mind boggles. Think of all the things that you could have done instead. I think you are starting to get the picture…
How To Be More Productive – Folders Are Your Friends!
So, if we are lucky, we may have some great friends in our life, that look out for us and we can meet up with them, to have fun times.
But friends do not always have to be human beings, they can also be Folders. Creating a new folder in your emails can feel liberating. You are not alone, you have even more friends. They are here to help you!
Start by looking at all those emails. Page through them if you have hundreds or thousands, look for common themes. Do you have emails from your family? A brother, sister, or parents? Simple. Create a folder for each of them. Then tag each email that relates to them and moves them to the correct folder.
How about holidays? Have you booked some accommodation or flights? Create a new folder entitled “Holidays” and put those emails in there.
If you have a lot of emails, this process will take you a lot of time. So, schedule some time every day and do it. No procrastinating. When you arrive at the point that every email has been filed, you will feel awesome!
Then when the new emails start coming to your Inbox, you can read them and file them immediately 🙂
Enjoy Your Extra Time
Now this all may seem fairly simple but some people feel so swamped they do nothing. Do not despair. Make a promise to yourself that you will do and make the commitment. You can start enjoying your extra time and can probably help others and show them how to be more productive. If are looking for more Time Management tools, check out this article here!
How To Be More Productive continues next week and in Part 2 we will look at Diary Management. Don’t forget to share this article with friends and family you think will benefit from it.
Wishing you a great weekend! Kind regards, Sally.
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Sally Leslie is a motivational coach and optimist. She helps freelancers and entrepreneurs create balance in their lives and work towards their personal and professional goals. Sally is also a B2B freelance writer for entrepreneurs, SMEs, and startups. A lover of plants, freedom, and football!