Although I’m not the most organized person in the world, I CAN find my car keys and try to follow a plan so that clutter is not overtaking my life. One of the best things I’ve learned from reading lifehacker.com and David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, is that you CAN have a clear email inbox every day and that it feels good.
Now, having a clear email inbox doesn’t mean you just trash all of your email (wouldn’t that be nice?). It means that you quickly scan all of it, read stuff and respond to it immediately if you can do this in 2 minutes or less, put email that will take longer to respond or deal with in an Action folder, put other stuff that you want to look at later but does not require a response in a Hold folder, and Archive or Trash the rest.
In this way, you can always clear out your email inbox and not worry that you might be missing something in the 1000 or so emails you still have parked there.
The KEY SECRET to this plan working is your strict compliance with reading what is in your Action folder every day and acting upon that stuff in a reasonable manner.
In this way, you are not required to scan through your email inbox every day, trying to remember what needs responding and doesn’t, you can have all of your messages archived (now, email offers filtering or searching, so you can easily find what you might want to read again), and you just FEEL GOOD because you have a clear email inbox, much like a clutter-free desk.
I feel so strongly about this one thing you can do to simplify your life, that I’ve even gone into my own email inbox and produced a video showing you how I do this. Click the link below to watch this:
Give it a try and let me know what you think and what works (or doesn’t!) for you.