Common email productivity mistakes

Doing things is not the same as getting things done

Happened to help one more person to get to Inbox Zero yesterday. The person had nearly 2000 mails in his inbox when we started around noon and was also in a state of feeling overwhelmed by his email volumes. By late evening, we wrapped up with a clean inbox and a sound approach worked out for managing email. Few weeks of reviews and practice should now see him consistently stay on top of his emails.

Screenshot of email received

The exercise also made me reflect on the common email productivity mistakes that prevent people from getting to Inbox Zero.

  • Using your inbox as a todo list
  • Using your inbox as an information storage mechanism
  • Reading & responding to email as against processing emails
  • Not batching the processing and replying to emails.
  • Not relying on keyboard shortcuts and not using filters effectively

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