Wouldn't it be great to have the inbox empty by Christmas?

  • Is your in-box empty right now?
  • Do you wish that is was?
  • Would you like to make it happen right now? 

Here’s what we discussed at the “How to Get Your Inbox Empty by Christmas” webinar yesterday. This is a process that has been successfully used by hundreds of past Taming the Email Tiger workshop participants to get their in-box empty. 

Here’s how to empty your inbox  . . .  right now! 

  1. Create a new In-box subfolder - call it Backlog (maybe add an asterisk * as the first letter so it sits at the top of your folder list, immediately under the Inbox))
  2. Now, select all messages in your In-box (highlight any message and then click CTRL+A)
  3. Drag and drop the highlighted messages to the new Backlog folder (ta-da - an instant empty in-box!)
  4. But we’re not finished yet. Now set up a recurring reminder in your Calendar to spend 15 minutes a day processing your Backlog folder. Schedule this time for 15 minutes before your departure time at the end of the day – this time of day will help you to be focused (and ruthless) in making a decision on each e-mail, as you will be wanting to get it done quickly so you can out the door. 

Use the same 4D Methodology (as used to handle each email only once) when clearing your backlog folder, as below; 

  1. Ditch or delete
  2. Deal (<2 mins)
  3. Delegate
  4. Decide (Where/When/Wait) 

I recommend you start with the most recent e-mails first, as these are the ones that are most likely to still have actions or replies you can make. What you’ll find is that, by the time you get to the older messages, the only decision you’ll need to make is whether to delete or store in an appropriately named folder (it’s probably too late for any action now!).  

As a result, you’ll zoom through the older messages very quickly and it won’t seem nearly as overwhelming a task as it had first appeared.  

All the best!

 Steuart Snooks

Steuart