A Simple Framework To Get To Inbox Zero
Did you know that the average office worker receives over 100 emails a day? That is crazy, right? How can we possibly manage this many emails and get to inbox zero each day. Today, I'm going to share with you a simple three-step process I've been using to help me get to inbox zero, and I think it can do the same for you.
Hi. I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to tune in.
So we're talking about your email inbox today. Let's face it. For most of us, our email inboxes are complete and utter chaos. There are too many emails in there that have just been sitting there. We're not acting on them. When they sit there, we have to reread them over and over again, which is a complete and utter waste of time. So let's find a way to organize this chaos, right? If we're going to get on top of this, we have to have a way to stay on top of and organize the chaos.
So I'm going to share this three-step process with you. This three-step process I actually got from a productivity course that I took from Sharran Srivatsaa. If you don't know Sharran, you can check him out. He's a super smart guy, but that's where I got this framework. And in this course, Sharran talks about taking all of the emails that are in your inbox through these three filters to help you determine what you need to do with them.
Here's the three filters, the first one, and these are in no particular order, but the first one is act. Can you act on that email? Acting on it could be putting it on your calendar, right? Is this something that you're going to have to take some time to do before you respond to it? If so, great, put it on your calendar, block the time, and then you can stash and file that email away. Can you delegate it? Right? Is it something that somebody else on your team or somebody you work with can take care of for you? You're not the best person to handle it. So let's delegate it. Is it something that I can just reply to and file it and be done? Or better yet, is it something that I can just delete? Do I even need to act on it at all? Does anything need to be done with this email? Most of the emails we get, frankly, we don't need to act on, right? We can just delete them. So deleting it certainly is the easiest way. But do we need to act on it or can we act on it in some way, shape or form right now so that we can get it out of our inbox? That's the first filter.
Your second filter is planning. Is it something that you need to plan for before you can actually do anything with it? In the case of planning, what we're looking at is from a planning standpoint, do we need to move it to our customer relationship management system where we have our to do list? Or if you have your to do list in something like to-do list, do I need to put it on my to-do list so that I can set aside time to plan and take care of this later? Or does it need to go on my project management software, right? Is it something that is a project that we're working on and I need to put it in my project management software so I can act on it at a later point in time?
We have act on it. Do we need to plan? Planning means you're moving it to some type of to-do list, or is it something that I just store right? There's important information in it, but I don't need to act on it. I don't need to plan around it, but I may want to reference that information later. So for me, that means if I'm storing it, it's something that I'm actually going to put in my note-taking software so that I can access it at a later date. This might be Evernote. I use software called Nimbus, but there's Google Keep. There's a ton of them out there. So if you are using a note-taking software, you can easily take that information store it there so that you can reference it later. That's what storing means to me. Now, sometimes this might just be storing it in your email folders in some way, shape or form. Do you have folders where you store specific types of information so that you can reference it later? So that's another way that you could store. I think it's much easier for me. At least it's much easier to put it into my note-taking software, and then I can search for that particular topic later if I need to.
But those are the three filters that I take all my email messages through: act, plan, store. And when I originally started doing this, I actually sent myself an email with the subject line Act Plan Store, and that is the one email that still sits in my inbox because it just helps keep this framework top of mind for me. At some point, I'm not going to need it there. This is just going to become a habit and second nature, but I found that really helpful while I'm getting into the habit of doing this. But like any other habit, once you form it, you're not even going to have to think about it. It's just something that you're going to do. You're either going to act plan store on your email so that you can take care of your email inbox very quickly, because I think managing our days from our inbox is not a good place to do it. We need to manage our days somewhere else, right? Because otherwise your email inbox controls your day, which means you are not going to be acting on the things that are the highest and best use of your time and the things that are priorities for you that are going to really help move the needle.
I hope you found this helpful. I have been doing this for about four to five months and I have found it really helpful. I'm going to be honest, I do not get to inbox zero every single day. I'm sure there are people that get to inbox zero every single day. I'm not all that worried about it, but what I don't want to have is 50 emails in my inbox. My goal certainly is to get to inbox zero. There are some days that I do some days that I don't. But once I process the emails, I never have more than five to ten emails in my inbox at any given point in time.
So try it. Let me know how it works for you or let me know if you have to tweak it to get it to work for you and what works for you. But some form of this, I think, is going to change your inbox dramatically, so I hope you find it helpful. Again, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. If you are struggling with your marketing in some way, shape or form, if you are trying different tactics, nothing seems to be working. If you're growing, but you've hit a ceiling and you're not sure what the next step should be to help you break through and get to the next level, hop on over to our website. Rialto Marketing dot com. That's R-I-A-L-T- O Marketing dot com. Click on the Get a Free Consultation button. I guarantee you will get a ton of clarity from that call and know exactly what those next steps should be for you based on where you're at and where you want to get to. So reach out. Be happy to help. Till next time. Take care.