First of all, let me establish the point of the discussion as why is it important to keep your inbox empty and how to do it.
Here are 5 ways that one of our clients named Ruy Machado, CEO of the FirmRE.biz a Real Estate firm located in Florida says are his favorite techniques. Ruy Machado, is a business professional that has achieved and maintains an empty inbox. ” In order for me to be productive I like to keep my inbox empty. Any email that arrives quickly gets addressed. Spam, to spam folder and flagged as spam. Emails that I read and don’t need any more get deleted. Emails that I need to follow up I move to their folders. And, emails that I need to reply right away I reply then delete or move to a folder for a follow up. Don’t leave you emails in your inbox as a to do list that it is the fastest way to fill up your inbox. By keeping my inbox empty I’m more effective and spend less time looking at emails and more time on my other projects.”
- Start early!
Ruy Machado, CEO of FirmRE.biz, says he starts each morning at 530am so he can have at least 30 minutes to go through his emails. Starting early and checking my emails throughout the day helps me keep my inbox empty or at least to a minimum, said Ruy.
2. Answer your emails right away
“I don’t just skim through my box for fires that I need to put out,” Said Ruy. “I read each email and think if it needs to be answered right away or can it wait. If it can wait it gets sent to the appropriate folder or deleted. If it can’t, I ask myself if have time available?’ If the answer is yes, then I answer it. Otherwise, I make a plan to address it later, which might involve putting an item on my to do list.”
3. Rely on the archive button
Archive emails and trust that you’ll be able to find an email later via the search bar, several professionals said.
“I’ve learned to trust the search function,” “Years ago, searching didn’t work well and some of us came up with elaborate filing systems for our email. With today’s technology, there’s no need to do this.”
4. Don’t use the inbox as a to-do list
Treating your inbox as a to-do list nearly guarantees emails will always be there. Instead, read the email and figure out the best course of action. If there is an appointment to be made or task to be completed, create the appointment or task in a separate area.
5. Learn to be OK with deleting.
“It’s amazing how many people equate deleting emails with some sort of mass personal affront – and instead take the time to meticulously file away those old meeting briefs, dial in reminders, and pictures of cats,” “If you’re never going to re-read an email don’t store it in your inbox, trash it now.”