At our opening department retreat this year each of us was asked to present a 3 minute presentation on something we were passionate about. However odd this may seem, I chose to present on productivity, and more specifically, email.
Most of the world’s email traffic is work or business related. In 2012, the number of businesses emails sent and received per day total 89 billion. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 13% over the next four years, reaching over 143 billion by year-end 2016 (radicati.com).
No wonder I often feel like my email is out of control! One thing I have learned is while technology is wonderful, and can help us improve productivity, it can also be counter productive, if not used effectively. Email for example, can be far more efficient than snail mail.
One way I have found to help me increase productivity is Inbox Zero. Someone shared the idea with me of having an “Action” folder for items that require my attention, but will take more than a minute or two to address. If an email comes, and I can take care of it in less than two minutes, I do it right then. If it requires more focused attention I place it in my “Action” folder. I set aside time either after lunch, or the end of the day to address those messages. This has helped me be more organized and to respond in a timely matter. This strategy has helped me achieve Inbox Zero.
After my presentation to the department, some of my colleagues were inspired and have applied this same technique. Dustin Worm took the challenge and said, "Two words, productivity increase! While I am new to the idea of Inbox Zero, I have a small sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Not to mention I answer every email within 24 hours which makes my peers happy."
With the rapid growth in use of technology, and huge amounts of data we deal with every day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Give Inbox Zero a try...I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what a difference it makes!