Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Email Excess Elimination – 31 DoBA – Part 4

It is vain to do with more what can be done with less. – William of Occam

This is one tip that I am still working on but since I believe it is so important I’m willing to share it with you before I’ve perfected it myself.  I blogged about eliminating excess a while back (http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2010/05/eliminating-excess/) but in this post I want to talk less about physical clutter and more about the digital clutter that steals our time.

Digital Clutter Thief #1 – Email

How many hours a day do you spend ‘doing’ email?  How many times a day does your phone buzz, chime, ring or otherwise alert you that you have a new email?  Here are my rules for fighting back this vicious time thief .

Check your email, don’t let it check you!

Unless you are a doctor and you are on call you probably don’t have anything so urgent that it can’t wait until you sit down at your desk and to actually read and respond to emails.   So, right now, turn off the email push function for your email to phone app.

Set up 2, 3 or 4 times per day when you open, read and respond to email.

Email has become the great productivity paralyzer.  When I first started doing this I was amazed at how I could get through 10-15 emails in the same amount of time I used to respond to 1 or 2.  The thing was but clustering the activity together I opened up time to be creative and productive.

Tell Facebook to keep out of your email!

There is no reason in the world that you need an email to tell you somebody wrote on your wall, tagged you in a picture, commented on your post, etc.  You will be notified of these things when you log in to facebook the next time.  The only exception I have is that if somebody sends me a message in facebook it comes to my email since it is often an email-like message.

Filter, Filter, Filter!

I use gmail and I don’t know why anybody uses anything else.  I plan to cover gmail tips in a later 31DoBA post but this much you can do in most email clients.  Set up filters for family, work, urgent, ads and any other recurring group you receive emails from.  By setting up filters you can read work emails during work time, family emails during family time and even have urgent emails sent to an email account that you allow to push to your phone.

These may not be earth shattering concepts but don’t let the simplicity fool you.  If you’re productivity doesn’t improve after applying these rules then I’ll eat a bug*.

Read 31 DoBA day 1
Read 31 DoBA day 2
Read 31 DoBA day 3

*disclaimer – I will NOT eat a bug.

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