Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Advanced Common Sense - E-Mail Edition

How much time do you spend on SPAM? I recieve upward of a thousand e-mails a day, and about 2% of those e-mails, I want to read, and maybe 5% I have asked for.

I encourage you to spend an hour of your time watching Merlin Mann give a talk at Google about managing e-mail. (Video for Merlin's "Inbox Zero" talk, 7/25/07). The good folks at Google don't waste a lot of time on numbskulls, and this guy's got an amazing approach to solving your e-mail inbox woes.

By watching the "43 folders" presentation, I spent an hour of my life saving exponentially more down the line by LEARNING about how to manage my e-mail. Inbox Zero is the source.

One citation that Merlin made was about David Allen, and his book - Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity he talks about "Advanced Common Sense" - it could not be any more obvious, but the trouble is we don't always do the obvious.

Processing - that is, doing something, isn't about checking your e-mail, it's about taking action on every e-mail, from deleting it, to responding to it. Yet, the next step is to not respond to 200 e-mails, it's processing them, and decide what it means to you - what actions do I have to take as a result of this e-mail?

Five things can you do with the e-mail:
  • Delete (or archive)
  • Forward/Delegate (give yourself a reminder to make sure the delegated task happened)
  • Reply/Respond
  • Defer - this can be tricky
  • Do - if it's something you can do, do it now.
Your inbox should be for something you haven't read yet.

Now, watch the video.
(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Post a Comment