Strategies to Simplify: Tip 6: Transform your email

“Work simply. Live fully.”  This week CMLE focuses on the following work productivity tip from Work Simply, Carson Tate’s popular book.  At CMLE, we’ve boiled down Tate’s wealth of knowledge from Work Simply to a few key points; please see the book for more detail and resources. At the bottom, see links to earlier tips in the series! Let’s all be our best selves….

This week’s activity: Reclaim your inbox by refining your email skills. 

By making just a few tweaks to your email routine, you can feel in control of your inbox. Take advantage of Carson Tate’s Email Agility System from Work Simply, through which she believes “The faster you can make accurate decisions regarding the content of your inbox, the more time you will have in your day.”

Decide (does this email require me to do something?)
Act (if action is required, then just do it, delegate it, or create a task. If not, delete or file it!)

Recently, you discovered your Productivity Style with a simple assessment.

Work Simply

Find your Productivity Style for some personalized advice for controlling your inbox:

Prioritizer: Take advantage of the Rules feature: Pay attention to patterns of the emails you receive, and write Rules to file them accordingly. You could also try setting a goal of having no more than a specific number of emails in your inbox at any time.

Planner: Schedule specific times during the day to check your email. You could also benefit from using numbers and symbols to organize your email folders so that your current folders of highest importance are at the top and easily accessible.

Arranger: Beware your tendency to overcommunicate, and use the cc: line sparingly. You may also like to try listening to music while you manage your emails, which brings some fun into the process.

Visualizer: Use the tool of color to code your incoming messages by sender or subject (red for your boss, etc) which helps you see quickly which emails require timely attention. Also, minimize distractions by turning off your email notifications.

Previous tips in this series