By @SimonCocking. Review of Speedmailing by Richard Wolfe, available from Amazon.

DREAMING OF AN EMPTY INBOX, BUT DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN?

We’re bombarded with messages every day, but no one tells you how to improve these vital email skills. In less than 100 pages, this handy book will help you discover how to regain control of your email – and get back to your job – in five simple steps.

Email doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With Speedmailing’s five-step process you can manage emails quickly and efficiently.

Email is a pain. It’s not working as an effective system of managing our working time efficiently. We often get between 100 to 200 emails per day. Naturally it is therefore important to workout a way to do more than just spend your time dealing with this. Especially as it is vitally important to distinguish between what is urgent and what is important. Having experienced this problem on a daily basis I was interested to see what Wolfe’s strategy was for dealing with this.

His strategy focuses around leaving nothing in the inbox at the end of the day, and strictly limiting the number of times per day you go and check your inbox at all, to first thing in the morning, after lunch, and just before the end of the day. He then recommends you then immediately assess what needs to be done with the email, and that you deal with anything that requires less than a two minute response.

I wouldn’t completely follow all of his ideas, but I do also aim to blitz through all new emails and turn them from black to grey (from unread to read in gmail). I’d also agree that if you can limit how often you check your inbox it does increase your ability to concentrate, and complete the actual tasks you are working on. Ideally too, if you don’t have notifications on your watch, phone etc, constantly letting you know when a new email or other social media notification has happened, you are then giving yourself a better chance to get things done. Ideally we will evolve to a more effective way of doing business, and there are already some excellent automated email managers out there, but in the meantime a short quick read of the ideas in this book may help you to spend a little less time in the swampy marsh of distraction that is your inbox.


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