Tackle email overload in 7 minutes

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When it first came along in the 90s, email was an ideal business communication tool. It was easier than a telephone call and faster than snail mail.

But somewhere along the way, email became a monster, gobbling up our time and productivity. 

We are now spending 25 percent of our workday dealing with email. We are scanning, flagging and searching for important emails. Sometimes we miss them altogether due to the sheer volume.

Not good.

Now the challenge is managing your inbox. The good news is, there is a way forward.

The 7-Minute Method 

This approach puts you in control of email, rather than letting the emails control you.

The key is setting time boundaries.

Start by setting the timer on your phone to seven minutes. Dedicate two or three times of day to deal with email and email only.

1. Minute one: Scan

Check your inbox quickly and flag important emails.

2. Minute two: Purge

Delete the emails you don’t need to clear the decks.

3. Minutes three to five: Do quick replies

Answer the most urgent and easy emails with fast replies.

4. Minute six: pick two or three emails for longer replies

Write two-or three-sentence replies and leave the rest for later.
 
5. Minute seven: review your inbox
 
Do one more scan and enjoy the fact you beat back the monster.  Schedule another seven-minute review a few hours later. And remember, deadlines are your friend when you’re dealing with email overload.
 
See more on the 7 Minute Email method here.

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