Be careful not to leave emails unread for very long. It is an unwritten rule of successful business to check your inbox constantly. What is the point of instantaneous communication if you don’t respond instantaneously?!
First thing in the morning, I use the bathroom. (Who doesn’t?) When I return in a confused and sleepy daze, I head straight for my almighty inbox.
Leadership Vacuum Top Tip
Some emails will jolt you awake much more efficiently than coffee!
When I sit at my desk, I continue reacting to my favorite To-Do list and organizing tool. I am not referring to the calendar, since I find it hard to use. An underling just asked for a 9am appointment, but I declined. No, I don’t have anything on the calendar. I must instead make room for the giant obstacle to be confronted many times each day — my inbox — and who knows when I’ll be done checking that?!
Never Miss Another Detail
Stay in the loop on everything by having underlings “CC” you to keep you fully aware. Some details may not concern you, but at least you’ll know, just in case. (You may need to “jump in” and help them say what they should have said with a reply all, but that’s another post altogether.)
Obey the Urgency of Unread Emails
Email is nearly immediate, and the sender expects you to acknowledge their message immediately. Stop what you are doing to respond immediately and await a follow-up. Emails are a huge wave that will overwhelm you if you do not constantly surf furiously just in front of it.
Your Day is Planned for You
I threw out my day-planner the day I bought a Blackberry. Suddenly my To-Do list appeared on its own, beginning when I went to bed. (What a relief, too, because I hate planning!) My inbox even allows others to help decide my day’s agenda. How modern!
In conclusion, let your inbox guide you so you can be informed of everything, respond immediately to new messages, and have your day planned automatically.
-W. Albert Jameson, IV
Instead of being a slave to your inbox, schedule several times to check your email each day and enforce a brief time limit. Actively plan your day’s tasks, and you may just find yourself much less busy while getting much more done!