Monday, March 31, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 12

Step 12: Celebrate success, and commit to “staying clean!”

Many of my clients have told me that this twelve-step process actually helped them regain their lives! Now that you know the process , your email no longer needs to control you and you can maximize your productivity in your professional and personal life.

Because you have most likely had to invest a month of focused effort into readjusting your email handling habits, acknowledge the shift. Appreciate the increased time you have to do what’s really important.

For all of these steps, and in more detail, in one ebook or mp3, click here .

That IS cause to celebrate!

Kudos to you...


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 11

Step 11: Involve others in conquering your e-ddiction.

One of the best ways to ensure that you stay on track and won’t “fall off the wagon” is to involve others in your plans to change your email habits and practices. Particularly at your workplace, you can gain much support by simply including your coworkers and employees in your plan to turn your email habits and practices around.

Detail your e-plans to your colleagues and employees. Let people know that you’ve turned off automatic send and receive, and that you’ve changed your email viewing habits to five times a day or to 60-to 90-minute intervals—so, should they need you urgently, they should call or stop by instead of emailing.

Success is about involving others!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 10

Step 10: Reduce the amount of email you receive.


By reducing the number of emails you send daily, and by implementing some simple steps when sending email, you will in return reduce the number of emails you receive: Ask yourself, “Is this email really necessary?”

Remember this thought:

Emails beget emails.

For more detail on these 12 steps, click here.

Send less, get less.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Help for Michael Arrington's 2433 Unread Emails...

Earlier this week I read a blog post by Michael Arrington on TechCrunch (2,433 Unread Emails Is An Opportunity For An Entrepreneur) about his personal issues with email. The following is my response:

Although there may be some technical assists to managing that inbox, I think alot of it boils down to managing yourself, and how you approach all those goodies that show up in your inbox. One possible solution is to think of your inbox in a different way. Think of it like you view a postal mailbox, or the inbin on your desk. I don't know of many people who put their mail back in their postal mailbox after they glance at it, and I haven't seen too many office inboxes with thousands of papers in them. Why not? Because people sort them and put them somewhere else!

Shifting your perspective from using your inbox as a holding tank to that of a delivery tool may help you SORT those new emails faster. And sorting is different from working. This perspective makes way for you to empty that inbox after every sort, just like you do with postal mail.

Here's what works for me... Some time management experts will tell you to touch the item only once. I think that is a bunch of bunk. I have tried it for years, and it just doesn't work for me. Here is my alternative suggestion: Touch each item no more than twice!

Here is the scenario. You receive e-mail. You review it. Then you have to decide what you're going to do with it. If you subscribe to the process of touching it only once, you can really get bogged down in non-important items that may take a long time to read or handle. Instead, I like to suggest that you touch each email no more than twice, with one exception. (We'll get back to that later. ) When you review the email, you determine how important it is, and you move it to a file or a place that gets it out of your e-mail, yet it is held in a place where you can find it and not ignore it. After you have reviewed all your work and slotted these items in their appropriate holding places, then you go about setting the priorities and working on the most important items.

The exception to this is to give yourself permission to handle anything that will take you less than two minutes to handle. In other words if you open an e-mail, and you know you can handle it briefly by sending a quick response, or faxing a form quickly, my suggestion is that you do it, regardless of its urgency or importance.

So, let's get back to all that other work that you estimated would take more than two minutes to handle. What do you do with it? The first question you ask yourself is keep or trash. Trash as much stuff as you don't need -- it creates clutter. Once you have decided that it is not trash, then you need to decide on whether you need to take action, and what type of action, its priority, and whether it is urgent or not. You can set up folders for this. I use three action folders - Action A (priority,) Action B, and Reading. And the stuff I want to keep for reference I file in subject folders. Whatever you do, get all that stuff out of your inbox, because if you leave it in there, you're probably gonna look at it much more than twice or stare at it like a defeated zombie.

Ya can't keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. There've been alot of great ideas on this post. Perhaps a mindshift will help too!

What other ideas do you have?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 9

Step 9: Budget time to sort email.

Too many people underestimate the amount of time sorting their email will consume. However, email is becoming an increasingly significant part of most people’s work that requires systematic and continuous attention. Sorting email-delivered tasks must be included in the daily schedule that is planned in Step 8.

Figure out the amount of time you’ll need to spend sorting emails each day, and set aside that time on your schedule or to-do list like any other business task.

This is why it is important to go in and retrieve your email at spaced intervals. This program doesn't really work if you go in there every 10 minutes... We like to suggest 5 times a day for the average business. Yup.

Plan to sort. Don't pretend it ain't there.

You can do it!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 8

Step 8: Plan your day.

This is where it all comes together...A lot of folks fear that if they put their emails in a folder, they'll forget them. This step keeps that from happening.Establish a consistent time each day to plan your work. Some people prefer first thing in the morning, others find it makes more sense to do this at the end of the day.

This is the time to plan all of your daily activities, including phone calls, projects, meetings, AND TASKS DELIVERED BY EMAIL.

Open your action folders and decide which of those tasks you will choose to work on during the day.It's not rocket science, but it works. Just remember, this needs to become a habit!For more detailed info on all these steps, click here.

Enjoy planning!M

Friday, March 21, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 7

Step 7: Apply the Two-Minute Rule.

Here’s my golden (secret) rule of email management:

If an email can be handled and responded to in two minutes or less, then take care of it immediately. If not, the second you determine it will take you more than two minutes, stop reading and don’t do any more with the email – instead, file the email in an appropriate action folder and address it later, at a systematically scheduled time.

That's all there is to it.

This way, you'll limit your SORT time, and get your inbox clean. Every time.

For more details, and more background on why this works, click here.

Remember, TWO minutes or LESS!

Happy sorting!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 5

Step 5: Empty your inbox every time you view it.

Leaving email messages you have already read in your inbox is just as counter-productive as leaving old mail in the box at the end of your driveway. Yet people routinely leave received items in their inboxes, even after they have been read. This transforms the inbox into one enormous pending file.

Once you've committed to this new habit, you can watch your blood pressue go down... fast.

But what do you do with all of those emails? You sort them, NOT work 'em. And you put them somewhere else. Check out our next post for that...

If you'd like to have an expanded version of these steps or an mp3, click here.

Or if you'd like to receive our bi-weekly newsletter, visit and sign up on any page!

Happy emailing! Or should we say "e-sorting?"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 6

Step 6: Create and use e-folders

Your efforts to keep your inbox empty will hinge on the effectiveness of the email folder system you establish to manage your messages. Then, commit to moving everything into a folder or the recycle bin EVERY time you SORT your email. Hey folks, this works!!!

This is what we think works best... You will need two basic categories of folders: action folders and reference folders. Action folders contain anything that requires something from you. Reference folders are for all other items that do not require action, but contain information that you may need at a future time.

Most people merge action and reference folders, contributing to confusion and inability to find critical work.For the whole program, in MP3 or eBook format, click here...

Email E-ddiction: Step 4

Step 4: Change your view of the inbox.

Take a minute to think about your postal mailbox. As you pull your mail out, you might flip through each item deciding what you need to read, keep, and file—and what you can just toss out. What you probably don’t do, however, is look through the envelopes, magazines, and postcards you received and then stick them back in your mailbox!

Likewise, the inbox is not a holding tank—it is a delivery tool. Just as your postal mail isn’t meant to stay piled up in your postal mailbox, your emails aren’t meant to be sitting in your inbox. They need to be moved or handled...

EVERY time you go in... Yup. That's what works!!!
You can have the whole series, either in eBook or MP3 format, or both!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 3

Turn off automatic send/receive. That's right! Turn the "dang ding" off!

Once YOU've decided to TAKE CONTROL of your email, this allows you to check your email when it best fits into your day. Get your email on your terms, not the other way around. This action could be one of the most difficult for an email e-ddict. After all, e-ddicted emailers thrive on seeing the new email that comes in! Although it may give you the shakes the first few times you do it, this is a huge step toward taking control.

So, turn off the flashes and reminders. Right now! Get your email when you want to, not when it "wants" you to... Try it, you'll like it!

Want our 12 Steps to Curing your Email E-ddiction eBook? Click here
Check out our 55 minute 12 step workshop DVD... Click here

Monday, March 10, 2008

Email E-ddiction: Step 2

Once you've decided to change (for the better) the next step is:

Take ownership. Believe that it is possible for YOU to take control of your email and to manage how YOU deal with it. You can choose to handle your email at the times that work for you. When you take ownership of your email, you don’t have to answer it as soon as it is received.

You think this sounds too simple? Are you the kind of person who answers the phone during a nice family dinner?

There is hope... it lies with you. YOU decide when you're good and ready to go in and sort that email. Once you've taken back control, it opens the door for GREAT stuff!

Look for our next post!

Our eBook has all 12 steps, too!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Do you know someone with an email addiction?

It may seem ludicrous that you could be addicted to something as simple and benign as email, but email addiction, or e-ddiction as I like to call it, is an epidemic that affects more of us than we realize. Think about it—email is something you check every day, probably multiple times. But once you cross the line and your time becomes consumed by this ‘simple and benign’ technology, then you may have a problem.

Here are some indicators that you may have an e-ddiction. You:
• Choose checking email over career, relationship, family, or education
• Check your email incessantly
• Use email as an escape
• Feel restless and moody when detached from your email
• Plan vacations to only places with Wi-Fi access
• Avoid addressing concerns voiced by family and friends

And unlike many eddicitons, you can't eliminate email. It is here to stay, and growing.

BUT there is hope. First, you've gotta confront it, and decide that you WANT to change. Look for more posts in the next few days and visit our website for more helpful info.

Yup, you CAN change!