Man covered in pile of emails

Adapted from our book, A Woman’s Way: Empowering Female Financial Advisors to Authentically Lead and Flourish in a Man’s World

 

In honor of National Get Organized Month, we would like to address emails. What’s the current status of your email inbox? The current record that we’ve heard from a new client is 129,000!

That’s A LOT of email clutter.

When email controls your life, it looks like this:

The first thing you do in the morning is open your email. You’re checking your email at breakfast. You’re checking email at a red light. You’re deep into email at your desk shortly after you sit down. Before you realize it, an hour of your day has evaporated. You react instantly to the “you’ve got mail” ding, whistle, or beep on your phone. You might even try to hold onto every single email for fear of missing out or losing something.

Does it really work to have thousands of emails in your inbox? It might until something falls through the cracks. Something really important. Then panic sets in and excuses begin.

Email is a vital part of our communication in business, so it stands to reason that we should learn how to use it properly. The secret to email management is knowing the difference between checking email and processing email. Many of us check our email a thousand times a day – on our phone, tablet, computer, etc. But checking it only clutters your head and your inbox. Processing your email involves taking that next step of acting on it.

When you process your email, you make a decision to either DELETE, ACT, FORWARD or FILE it.

DELETE

Do you really need this email? If not, trash it. Ask yourself, “if I go to find this email and it’s not there, what’s the worst thing that can happen to me?” If you can live with the answer, DELETE IT! Avoid the clutter and let it go.

ACT

NEWS FLASH! Your inbox was designed to hold only emails that require ACTION. That’s it. If there’s some kind of action associated with an email, then keep it in your inbox. Your inbox soon begins to turn into a task list.

FORWARD

Yep, this is an action as well but it doesn’t take much time. Once you determine an email should be forwarded, pass it on. Then you can delete it and get it out of your inbox.

FILE

Most people don’t leverage the filing capabilities in their email. You can create email folders to store all of your emails just like you would in a file cabinet. Create and organize your email files so that at any given time you can find what you’re looking for easily.

Are you tired of being overwhelmed by email and need some help? At Productivity Uncorked, we work with financial advisors around the country who struggle with clutter and productivity issues (among others). Check out our website at www.ProductivityUncorked.com to explore our services and the value we bring to our clients. Drop us an email at patty@productivityuncorked.com and we promise to process it!

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