Clean Out Your Inbox Week: January 22-29
I love to look up daily, weekly, and monthly observances. You never know what someone's celebrating at any given time. I mean, hey, there are days to celebrate chocolate, coffee, AND wine!!! Who'd want to miss that? Here on my blog, we're going to celebrate some common and not so common observances with fabulous authors from all over the world. Today, author Tara Fox Hall reminds us to stop putting off the most dreaded computer task ever...cleaning out our inboxes. If you hate the process as much as I do, try these steps, give your inbox a good scrub, and breathe a sigh of relief!
Everyone has to deal with the daily deluge of email: The good, the bad, and the downright ugly. It’s something that didn’t use to bother me, but lately has become an albatross. To celebrate Empty Your Inbox Week, here’s my post on how to tackle one of modern life’s most never-ending struggles.
First…JUST START! I have found myself ignoring my email at home for days, because I am burnt out and/or busy. I have even logged in a few times, only to look at all those new messages and log back off when there is nothing that is an emergency. Yet this leads to a backlog building up very quickly. If I just delete the emails that I don’t need, begin handling the emails that will take a few minutes, and file the ones that need to be saved for later reference, that cuts the messages down by 2/3. As you delete and file, you will gain momentum (and start to feel better).
Second…Unsubscribe Yourself/Banish Spam! I hate to say this as an author, but I, like most people, do not have time to read every newsletter/update that is marketed to them. Some larger companies send daily or weekly messages. Unless you really need to read every one of these (and you DON’T), mark them as spam. You can find them later in your Trash months down the road when you’re looking to buy. And if you really aren’t interested in purchasing whatever they are selling, unsubscribe yourself.
Third…Use Your Folders! For any new reference messages pertaining to some new project that just needs filing (in my case, a new book, or upcoming event or a separate tax year), create a new folder under your inbox with a simple name. Flag if needed (more about this next). When you need these emails, you can find them easily.
Fourth…Mark With Abandon! Flag, tag, or star the remaining emails that you need to work on. There are many different colors (and symbols, if you use Chrome). Using these “markers” really help to separate what you need to keep in your inbox (ex: I mark new content for my website, so when I get access to update it, I can do so as fast as possible).
Fifth…Prioritize! Work on remaining email in order of priority, NOT on which email you’d like to work on first. Some emails will need a half-hour, some longer, but do what is most pressing. A good friend on Facebook sent me a book called Eat That Frog, the main message of which was to do the deed you are dreading each day first, so you can get it out of the way and enjoy the day. This is true!
Last…Realize When You Need To Stop. A timer (like the one on your phone) is very useful for this. Books weren’t written in a day, and a clean Inbox is no different. Don’t burn yourself out, because as Scarlett said, “Tomorrow is another day.” And that day will bring a new mountain of email!
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, erotica, horror, suspense, action-adventure, children’s stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice. All of her published children’s stories to date are free reads on www.childrens-stories.net.
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