2.12 One Touch to Zero
Productivity hack no.28 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.
Still on the topic of emails, get into the habit of breaking them down into different groups.
- Require personal action
- For info only, and then delete
Those that need personal attention should be done straight away (see section 4.5 for more) or scheduled, actually put into your To Do list and your calendar (that you’re now in control of thanks to 2.10).
Those that can be delegated should be sent to the new owner with a clear message about what you expect and by when. Then set up an automated reminder for both you and the new owner so it pops up and reminds you both that it’s due. If the new owner hasn’t done it chase them but be clear it is their responsibility to complete the task.
If something’s been sent for info, read it and bin it. You may feel you want to keep it for reference later, and that’s fine, but many of these types of emails go out of date quickly, so speak to the project owner when you need the most up to date view.
At the end of the working day your aim is to have nothing unread in your email inbox. It should all have been scheduled, delegated or binned, and anything you’re keeping archived in a relevant folder.
Touch things once only and reduce your inbox to zero every single day. Take control of your schedule and manage the important tasks to completion while ensuring that those which can be delegated are being managed by others.
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