"How does a major project get to be a year late? One day at a time." -- Tom Peters
When someone says "time management," do you immediately have a "been-there-done-that" reaction? If so, you’re probably among those of us "over-30s" who experienced the mandatory time management classes in our early careers. However, here’s a question for you:
How many emails in your Inbox folder came in yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year?
If your answer is anything but zero, you may want to read this. Until last Thursday, my answer was hundreds ... today it is zero. Do you know what it feels like to have ZERO emails in your inbox? It is definitely cool ... a small weight rolled away, a gentle sigh of relief.
And all of this from an article in Atlantic Monthly about organizational guru, David Allen, dubbed "the Henry Ford of the Digital Age." I’m not sure why I read the article since I usually avoid them but by the time I finished I had picked up a SIMPLE idea that transformed my inbox. Most of the stuff we leave in our inbox because we’re going to come back to it later is something we should do but isn’t critical or stuff we should read but again isn’t critical. After months of new, non-urgent emails dogpiling on top of each other, they create such a guilt-clutter that they never get looked at again.
So here’s Allen's process:
1. Create two new folders (A-Action and AA-Read – this puts them toward the top of your Inbox). 2. Every email should be:
b. Responded to immediately if it’s less than a 2-minute response.
c. Filed in A-Action or AA-Read.
Presto! An empty inbox ... it does help, of course, if you check you’re A-Action folder regularly and browse through your AA-Read folder occasionally.
Allen does have more ideas but I can only get so organized, so fast. Here’s his website in case you're ready for more: