I live and die by my email. If you're an internet entrepreneur you probably do to.
If I need a reminder, I email myself. If someone needs something from me, I tell them to email me. If I want to follow something, it's done by email.
But everything I want quickly piles up. And then it compounds with stuff I don't want.
Even if I reach 'inbox zero', in just a few hours I can be buried with emails that need my attention, response or deletion. And before I can get to them, more come in, taking my attention. On top of that vicious cycle, was my need to incessantly refresh my email and see what was coming it.
So here I was refreshing my email every 2 minutes, and getting nothing done. I'd estimate there was a solid 2 hours per day wasted on email, that could be directed elsewhere. I had to make things more efficient.
Here's my system that eliminates the email overwhelm and brings me a few hours per day of whitespace.
Tools you'll need:
Both of them are free with Boomerang limiting the volume of some features.
Watch: my video overview of this process.
Pause the fucking inbox.
It's time to put an end to the madness. Install the Pause Inbox App.
Then click the pause button.
Now you've got an anchor in the ground. Clear out all these emails and reach inbox zero.
Set daily times to check your email.
You can't go back to your old ways of email overwhelm. To do this you need to adopt and stick to a schedule of checking your email with discipline.
Make a mental note of times when you will check your email.
Personally I like, beginning of day, middle of day, and end of day. Three times a day.
This is going to eliminate that urge to check your emails every 2 seconds. It is hard to do at first, but as time goes on it you appreciate all the white space it creates.
Unpause & handle.
At your set time, click the button to unpause your email. Let the flood come in. And then a few seconds later; PAUSE IT. Never leave it unpaused.
Now you've got a bunch of emails.
First thing; Select all and then unselect the actual emails that need your attention.
Select all your emails, and then go through and un-select all the emails that you need to do something with. Now delete or archive all the selected emails.
This quickly avoids the issues of lingering emails that get you nowhere.
And you're left just with emails you will deal with now.
Reply, Delete, or Boomerang.
For the remaining emails it's time to handle them. With what is remaining, either reply to them, delete them or Boomerang them. The first two terms are commonly known so let's talk about Boomerang.
Boomerang is a gmail app that lets you hide the emails and come back later.
Use this for emails you need to do deal with later. Or if you need to wait on another reply from a recipient.
Sometimes I'll also use this as a reminder. If I am waiting on a follow up, I will set a boomerang to bring it back on my radar if I haven't received a reply.
The other cool thing Boomerang does is send emails 'later'.
There's 2 ways this is incredibly helpful.
#1 I've found emails often get noticed and addressed much quicker if they come in when the recipient is getting to their desk. They tend to address what is fresh. So I will use Boomerang to send that email at the time I believe that person to start working.
#2 Sometimes you might be tempted to reply to an email outside of business hours. You get an email outside of business hours and it fires you up, in a good or bad way. You formulate in your perfect response, but actually sending that email outside of business hours isn't good. It sets a precedence with the contact that you are available 24/7. A better option for your personal life is to schedule it to send at a later time, during normal business hours.
Mark as spam liberally.
Finally, when you get emails that are simply useless, mark them as spam. I love marking them as spam. Get off the list and keep them out of YOUR inbox (but eh really its Gmails inbox).
Follow my simple system to keep you at inbox zero.
It will save you a ton of time.
Let me know how it has worked for you! Drop a comment below or in our facebook group: No Bullshit Marketing.