Have you paid attention at all to how you feel after you have checked your e-mail or in-box at work? You quickly looked at what was there and then started to do your regular work or duties. In the back of your mind you were feeling a bit pressured by all that you needed or wanted to do but felt you had to do something else right then. Then the next time you checked your e-mails or in-box, the same things happened and it accumulates! This leads to living very much in the “urgent-urgent” quadrant of life.
You need to take control of e-mails and in-box stuff. I suggest applying the 4 D’s. But, before that, plan when you are going to check those areas of your life. You do not have to do it every second or when you here the “ding” indicating new e-mail. Turn the alert off. Set a time or two each day to check e-mail. Then apply the 4 D’s.
The first thing you need to decide when you open an e-mail is can I Dump it? Is it just garbage or general info that needs no action? Dump it if you can.
The next thing to decide , if you cannot dump it, is can you Delegate it to someone else? I don’t mean just send it for info to someone else. I mean, can you really refer it to someone else to handle? If you can, will you be able to just let it go or will you need to keep track of progress or completion? If you can let it go, should you tell the originator that you have given it to someone else to handle? Then, delegate it if you can and mark when you need to take any further action on the matter in your calendar. Don’t forget to indicate where the information resides.
Some stuff takes time. You need to consult with others, gather info or wait for others to let you have what you need. You are going to have to Delay this item. But, again, delay it to a specific time in your calendar. Set aside time in your calendar to deal with this item and leave a note about where the relevant info resides.
If all else fails, Do what you should do right away before looking at any other documents or e-mail. If a short note is required, do it. Resist the temptation to copy the world. Just respond and file or delete it.
So, the four D’s are:
- Dump it!
- Delegate it!
- Delay it!
- Do it!
You have taken control of a large chunk of uncontrolled input to your days and this leads to feelings of comfort, contentment and happiness. Even if you have lots coming at you, you can be happy anyway. Just take control and handle input once when you first touch it.
Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day.