Email is considered as waste of time…All most every productivity guru talks about cutting down emails, not starting your day with email or keeping Inbox ZERO.
We have been hearing all these nonsense and wonder, actually is it possible to work like the way these so called guru described. Certainly Not. If we have so much of habit and could control our work schedule, we would not have to look at the ways to control our work.
Recent article in HBR certainly resonates this thinking…It starts with the fact that Email is part of our daily work and no way, we can consider it as waste of time…Read excerpt of the rest of the post….
Just check unroll.me…its really very useful to cutdown few unnecessary emails.
How to Have Control over Email:
- I stopped seeing it as separate from my “real work.” In the information economy, emailis real work. So I made a conscious decision to stop looking at email as something that took me away from important work and start viewing it as part of building relationships — something that’s really important to me. Once I made this mindset shift, it was easier to make time for email.
- I stopped using email to manage my to-do list. This post describes my pre-conversion life pretty well: I’d leave important messages marked as unread to remember to come back to them later (but then they’d get buried by new messages fairly quickly) and I’d email to-do lists to myself. Having tried paper to-do lists and several different task tracking apps (including one that transformed my list into a quest — though I never advanced beyond “Junior Ent Sapling”) I’ve finally settled on Trello, which is super-simple and has a fantastic app/desktop integration.
- I stopped allowing days of back-to-back meetings. I used to let my calendar get filled up with meetings; at the end of the day, I would return to an inbox filled with hundreds of unread messages and a sinking feeling in my heart. I tried to fight back by blocking out large chunks of my calendar a couple of times a week, but my coworkers, seeing a 2-hour “meeting” in my calendar would know it was a fake and book me anyway. Now I book 30-min or 1-hour meetings at random times throughout my week, so that I always have about two hours “free” per day. (Try to catch me now, suckers!)
- Two weeks before I go on vacation, I put the dates I’ll be away in my email signature. This is a much better way of giving colleagues a heads-up than a mass email message, which few people will read or remember, and it lets me deal with last-minute requests before I leave so that I can fully disconnect while I’m away. When I return, I steadfastly avoid meetings for a couple of days so that I can catch up. Unless you are a sitting head of state, I don’t see why you should have to check your work email from a vineyard in Tuscany, or the back of a burro in the mountains of Patagonia, or sitting by grandma’s Christmas tree. I realize that some people’s bosses are unreasonable about this; part of why I work at HBR is to convince these bosses that they are wrong.
- I stopped expecting a human brain to solve a problem created by technology. I used to feel bad — really bad — when important emails would get lost in the impenetrable wall of unimportant near-spam that took over my inbox every day. (No, I do not think HBR should publish an article on the start-up selling a toilet seat for cats, but thank you, Ms. Publicist, for suggesting it — three times.) I finally accepted that this was a technology problem that required a technological solution. After looking into a few options, I installed SaneBox, a filtering system that uses an algorithm to decide which emails are the most important. Those are shunted into your inbox, which suddenly looks much less cluttered; the rest go into a “SaneLater” folder. I go through the SaneLater folder every other day to make sure nothing crucial is languishing in there. I also started using Unroll.me, which combines your newsletter subscriptions into one daily digest and unsubscribes you from the lists you don’t want to be on.
- I use my smartphone much more. (This is the “half” tactic.) While most of the published advice I’ve read on managing email urged me to avoid relying on my phone, I’ve found that it helps me craft quicker responses that get right to the point (in case you haven’t noticed already, I have a tendency towards the verbose). And since it says “sent from my phone” in the signature, people aren’t as likely to be offended by brevity