Every day you will be inundated with email. This creates work for you because you have to apply attention and do something. An email requires one of two things:
You typically have to do something or decide on something. It is a game of hot potato as a knowledge worker. You move information to one of these two ends.
- Delete it (this is 90% of your incoming email)
- Delegate it (forwarding to another person to act on)
- Do it (if it takes less than 2 minutes)
- Defer it
Each email requires attention. Opening it more than once means that you did not apply attention and make a decision. It is wasteful.
For those emails that need to be deferred, simply:
- Star It
- Archive It
This will filter it by the Star symbol and then move it out of your inbox. Click on the Starred items frequently in order to review your list of action items.
You can even set up a filter to email yourself tasks and Star and Archive it. This will allow you to do quick brain dumps and know where your actions are. When you get time, act on the Starred items and remove the Star when it is complete.
Now you will have a fluid personal process to improve your productivity. Act with speed and precision to keep clear on your work.