These inbox habits will make you the boss of your time

Email – can’t live without it, but living with it? My sister-in-law laughed at me recently when I told her I try to keep my unread personal emails below 1,000. It hadn’t occurred to me until then how crazy that is – but it’s just so hard keeping up!

Fellow closet-email-hoarders, this is your sign! You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction. Email wastes more time than most people realize, and it’s totally hidden.

Time is wasted every time you read an unread heading that you’ve read before. Think about it:

2 seconds to read a heading….

That you read 10 more times that day

….and the next day…

for 3 weeks….

…until you finally open it and deal with it.

That’s 2 seconds x 10 reads x 21 days = 420 seconds = 7 minutes. Seven minutes spent reading the same thing 210 times!

If you’re like me and have more than 1 email like this – the lost minutes really start to pile up. Ten emails passed over at this rate means you’ve lost 1 hour and 10 minutes (over 21 days).

What do you wish you could do with that hour?!!

You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction.

-Ashley Fisher, blogger

I have since whittled it down and stayed on top of the inbox game. There are some tricks to it that I’ll share with you here. Some of these ideas were introduced to me at a conference. A high-level executive from a company came in and shared insights from his book. If I can find the book and his name, I will update this post and share it with you!  

  1. Set up your inbox to automatically tag and file receipts. You don’t have to read them or even see them – they just go to the right folder.  
  2. Unsubscribe from that listserv that you’ve stayed on just in case you might need that company. You know they exist, you can find them when you need them. Unsubscribe.
  3. As soon as an auto-notice of any kind comes in to your inbox, delete or move it to another folder. Especially if it’s the kind of notice that you never read.
  4. If an email will take mere minutes to respond, do it right there. Your mental energy and time are too precious to repeat the reading and thinking about it.
  5. This one’s important, so I’ll say it in bold. Your inbox is not your to-do list. If you need to remember to do something, keep an actual to-do list. Emails are checked so frequently that running through a to-do list every single time you log in is a recipe for feeling scattered and overwhelmed.

I can proudly say that I have way less wasted time than I used to because of these tricks. And I want you to know that I didn’t implement them overnight. I whittled away at my 1,000 emails over the course of 2 weeks. It became kind of a game, getting the number down.

You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction. You deserve more minutes freed up. I hope that these tricks will be useful to you. And if you have some email tips of your own, I very much want to know about them! Please share them in the comments. May our energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

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