Hello, August! Coming in hot-hot-hot!!
I love it when I seem to know what brings you to the table. And that thing is talking about managing your EMAIL. That love-hate relationship. The codependency. It’s real.
Last week during our free (and amazing!) digital declutter workshop, I shared something that was intended to make you think differently about your approach to managing your emails (PS this is mainly for those of us with distraction issues!!).
Here it is: IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY THOUSANDS-PLUS EMAILS ARE IN YOUR ACCOUNT! (unless you are at the limit of storage and no more can come in, but that’s not what I’m talking about right here) The actual number is a non-issue!! (It’s actually a distraction!!)
PS Sorry for shouting but I get fired up, you know.
When you boldly say to yourself, “I’m going to work on my email and get it under control!” (first of all, yay you!) However, I have some “shake it up” advice to give you: use that time to identify the tasks that MUST GET DONE instead of “how many can I delete?” It’s soooooo tempting (and yes, oddly satisfying), to delete large numbers of emails. It “feels so great” seeing that overall number reduce. I get it! Dopamine rocks.
But guess what is NOT reducing? And is, in fact, INCREASING?
The total number of tasks in those emails that you actually MUST DO!
Your oh-so-limited time is better used on identifying those tasks (and then creating time to knock them out!). THAT is making PROGRESS. True progress.
Yes, you need to unsubscribe and filter those emails that are needlessly flooding your inbox. But you must stop wasting time deleting. You’ll likely get interrupted well before you think because some child or some animal or something loud grabbed your attention!
Am I right or am I right?? Poster child here: I definitely have transformed my “bad boyfriend” relationship with my email over the past several years. YES, YEARS!
But often that’s what it takes. (PS and that’s okay!)
So what do I do these days? I’m happy to share my hacks!!
I open my email on Monday morning and move the lot of them into a folder called “current month triage” and then I scan that folder for things I must do. When I find one, I move it to my action-oriented folders like “REPLY” & “SCHEDULE” (I learned about naming my folders from free videos at the Stack Method).
Then, and this is the kicker, I (try very, very hard to) hang out in those action folders during the day! That’s where the good stuff happens! PROGRESS!
And since my inbox is quite empty, I’ll see anything urgent much sooner than I would if my inbox was overflowing. WHAT A GAME CHANGER.
What else can I do to convince you?
Think of it this way: when you’re hungry and it’s time to fix yourself some food, do you open your fridge/pantry/freezer and think “What food in here do I not need?” and then proceed to spend that time (while you’re hungry!) tossing out food instead of actually figuring out what you will prepare?? No! You’re going to find something to fix and then fix it!! (remember all those hungry people in your house? Why are they always so dang hungry??)
Or, what about this way: when you go to to the gym to get some exercise (yay you!), do you walk around and look at the equipment and say to yourself, “No way I’m going to use that one, or that one, and definitely not that one!” and waste all that time you spent getting yourself dressed and actually into the gym?? (Again, yay you, btw!) But, heck no! You’re going to grab a machine, some weights, a mat, or SOMETHING, and pop on a video or attend a class. Get it done!!
I hope this makes sense. My greatest wish here is that you feel validated and inspired!
And, hey, tell Overwhelma to get outta here because even 5 minutes matters! It’s true! Rome was not built in a day. It was built slowly over many many days!
I realize how weird it is to compare our email accounts to Rome…but a metaphor is always helpful, if you ask me. And a group of like-minded souls helps too, and you know where to find that!
Pssst! Check it out…
Join us all of August for a 45-minute free Digital decluttering workshop every Thursday @noon CST! Get all your new Fall calendars loaded into your digital world BEFORE it gets away from you. Work on those emails…all the things!
Save the Dates:
*What is a Binderpalooza? A workshop to get your papers out of those files, piles, and boxes and into reliable, organized, sturdy binders!! Life-changing.
On Deck this Week:
With August upon us, we all know that the Fall chaos is looming, but it’s manageable when you have support! A group that knows what you’re up against and is right there in the thick of it with you! Consider testing out the FOCUS Membership and get a free Binderpalooza*!