Manage Your Email

Master Your Email

Email is a constant battle for me. In the Air Force I switched jobs every two years or so. Every time, I was able to start with an empty inbox. It was a nice feeling. When it was time to move on, I spent days sorting through well-over 2,500 emails in my INBOX what was important to pass on to my replacement and what I needed to take with me. That doesn’t include the multiple folders that I had already established and filled. But then when I signed in to my new position, I had a clean slate.

Now that I’m Air Force-retired, I don’t get the chance to start over every few years. I am trying to following Kevin Kruse’s suggestion about mastering my email from 15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management. The first step was to unsubscribe from newsletters. I have signed up for so many that I’m sure would be great, if I had time to read them. Instead, they clutter my inbox and make me feel guilty that I haven’t gotten to them yet. So, I took the time to scan a sampling of newsletters and only kept the ones that I thought would help me the most. The rest I unsubscribed from. But now, if a week goes by and I haven’t read the newsletter I saved, I delete it and move on with my life. No more guilt from that corner.

The next step was vital—turn off your email notifications. You know, those pop-ups that you get when an email comes in, no matter you’re working on. I can be in a roll with my blog, typing away, and I get that pop-up window. My eye tracks it, my mind reads it, and I have lost my train of thought of my blog. It takes time to get back to what you’re doing. Even if it’s only 60 seconds, that is one minutes times every email you get. It adds up quickly.

There are many more nuggets of wisdom about email, but I’ll let you read the book. I don’t want to give you too many spoilers. I added one myself that goes along with the Theme Your Days (we’ll get there in a few weeks); I have it on my calendar to clean sweep my email once a week. That’s my double check, in case I didn’t follow all the suggestions as the emails came in. It gives me 30 minutes a week to keep my email under control.

Have fun cleaning!