Well, as you can tell, HCOMS Towers hasn’t been blown away to the land of Oz this week, though it has made for some interesting hairstyles for those coming into the office from these storms this week. The office pool on the X-Factor results paid out quite well this week, since most of us had the cutie with the pink hair winning the whole thing, but I think we all know that Amelia’s got a contract in her future anyway. Most of us are already in ‘holiday’ mode, so it’s been a bit of a battle to keep on task and get things done. I know when I get back from my few days off, I’m going to have a mile-long list of emails in my inbox from clients, suppliers, co-workers, and a few personal ones (shhhh…Ididn’tsaythat….shhhh), so I thought that discussing how to keep your inbox organised would be a good topic to discuss. Shall we?
I go by four basic rules when it comes to email.
- Folders are your friends.
- If you’re read it, it’s not in your inbox.
- If you don’t need to read it, it’s not in your inbox.
- Stop obsessing over your inbox.
My email is set up so that I have one main inbox which all my incoming mail goes into. From there, I have smaller, sub-folders that I file away emails that I have read, and emails that I know I don’t need to read (but should hold onto in the event I may need it). My sub folders typically are dedicated to one person, but if I’m working on a project where there are many people involved, I keep a folder for that one project.
So when I head into my inbox, I quickly skim it, decide if it needs reading or not. I either read it, then file it, or file it straight away. If I really don’t need it (in the event that a spam email gets through our filters), I just bin it. By the end of my session with my inbox, it should be completely empty. Nothing lives in my inbox for more than a few hours.
I also only check my email a few times a day. Yes, I do get tempted when I see that little window pop up and show me a flirting glimpse of what’s inside, but I have learned to behave myself, and just let that email sit there until I have the time to look at it. As a general rule, I only check my emails every couple of hours or so. Checking them as and when they come in disrupts my ‘flow’, and I don’t like having to stop and start things. (And by flow, of course I mean my mad rapping skills, and not my website design marathons where I get into the zone and make the most mind-blowing pages imaginable. )
There are times when I do keep a better eye on my inbox, such as the weekly report that my supervisor sends out that needs completing within the hour, or when my mate across the hallway is going on a Krispy Kreme run, and wants to know what I want. (Yes, I do have my priorities correct, Thank you for noticing.)
Since I won’t be back before Christmas arrives, I’d like to take this time to wish you and yours a Happy Christmas, a great New Year, and a somewhat painless New Year’s Day hangover!