Which of these scenarios is true for you?
- Your email inbox has thousands of emails waiting to be processed – several hundred unread, many others glanced at and tagged, many filed away in a maze of folders which seemed efficient once but now make it harder to find things…. and the rest sitting there because you do not know what else to do with them? On top of this you know that there will be at least another 200 – 300 emails coming in tomorrow.
BIG ISSUE: Dis-organisation
- Your email inbox (or inboxes) dominates your working day. You meticulously deal with all your emails first thing in the morning and several times throughout each and every day. Your email alert is on and you can see each email when it arrives in your inbox. You have made it your mission to conquer your email. By the end of the week few emails remain unread or unanswered.
BIG ISSUE: Productivity
- You have given up trying. You scan your email inbox a couple of times a day. You hate the pressure of the overloaded inbox but you are just too busy running your business to even bother staying attuned to it. Some clients and business associates who know you well have learned to telephone or text you. You sometimes wonder how much business you miss out on but you have given up caring.
BIG ISSUE: Loss of Control
If one of these scenarios describes you, you are not alone.
Most busy business owners and executives I work with every day feel like they are drowning in emails.
They dread opening their email account on Monday morning. They are spending 2 hours per day dealing with emails of all different kinds that arrive in their inbox.
How is an overflowing email inbox a picture of your life?
The pressure of always feeling like you’re playing catch-up and never on top of your work can usually be traced back to your inbox.
The pressure is a source of an underlying anxiety that most busy business people have come to see as a normal part of their lives.
It plays out like this (if you are anything like me):
- You are always running late, with piles of stuff on your desk and in your garage (your car does not fit)
- You drive with a sense of pressure and get frustrated with the car in front in a 50 Km zone only to look at your speedo and realise they are travelling at 55 Km/hr.
- You return from an inspirational event determined to change a couple of things but within a day or two you are back responding to everyone else’s issues, emails and phone calls.
- You find each day racing by with your priority items often left until after hours, and then it is a difficult choice between work and family time
- An underlying feeling of pressure and stress…all the time.
Taking Back Control
What if it was possible to reach inbox zero at the end of every week without spending several hours a day reacting to emails?
Imagine a work day where you didn’t leave the office feeling like you’ve forgotten or missed something, or that you didn’t get around to everything you hoped you would.
Dermot Crowley, best-selling author of Smart Work, is a productivity expert who teaches busy business people how to manage themselves including how to have a zero inbox each week.
I have learned Dermot’s system for MS Outlook 6 months ago. It was such a relief to implement what I learned and less than 3 hours later go from more than 3500 emails to zero knowing all the important ones were still immediately accessible.
My stress levels reduced and my productivity has increased significantly. And my email inbox is still at zero today. And you know, I am even driving more peacefully (well most of the time).
A rare opportunity
Dermot Crowley is conducting a rare public workshop on November 14 at The Hills Lodge, Castle Hill in NW Sydney, and I’ll be joining him for a special session on how to integrate the strategies you’ll learn about managing your inbox with the rest of the priorities in your life.
Seats are limited – secure your spot [here]