Episode 42

Taming Your Inbox

November 10th, 2021


Today we’re talking about taming your email inbox.
We dive into:
  • Having boundaries around your email communication
  • How to deal with urgent emails
  • Becoming the master of your inbox
  • Allocating time to your inbox
  • Strategies to help you reduce inbox overwhelm
  • How your assistant or team can help you keep your inbox organised
  • Why the unsubscribe button should be celebrated

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Nicole Smith 0:02
Welcome to take control with Nicole, as business owners, we experienced firsthand the fine line between our personal and business life. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce, overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go.

Hello, hello. And thank you for joining me for another fabulous episode of take control with Nicole. Now today, what is the reaction in your body? When I say the word inbox? Now I know this can cause physical reactions of intenseness and all the things. Imagine if instead of that, whenever you opened up your Gmail or your Outlook, whatever email provider you use, and it is clean, and it is organised, and you know exactly what is in there, and how you are going to action each and everything that comes in and out of your inbox. It is all about understanding the way that you like to work, finding a system and a process that supports the quantity of emails that come in, and also stopping and asking yourself, regardless of what area of business you’re in, if you’re in the corporate space, if you’re in the entrepreneurial space, if you work for a small business, do I need to send this email? Or can I have a conversation with the person that I need to communicate with looking at how and where we use and we perform our communication can have a direct impact on how our inboxes are working. And today, the conversation is going to be about inboxes and how you can use introduce think about them in a slightly different way that can move you from that. to that. I love my inbox. Enjoy.

Good morning. Hello, how are we all today? It is Tuesday. Again, how do those weeks keep going so quickly. All of a sudden it’s time to go live, which I’m really excited about. I’m loving. They do a lot today, every Tuesday morning. I’d love to know if you’ve been enjoying them. And if you have any particular topics you’d like me to cover, because I’m open to anything that you would like me to discuss, pop them in the comments or send me a DM and we can make it a possibility super exciting. But today, I wanted to talk about a topic that over the years has been something I have really seen how that can become a little bit uncomfortable for people can be a little bit overwhelming if we want to use that word can really be able to create ease and simplicity when it is done. Well. That is your email that is your inbox. And really understanding. Are you controlling your inbox? Or is it controlling you? Funny question. Okay, poor connection restarted again, I wanted to start today we’re just asking you a question to think about. What is your relationship with your inbox?

Yeah, funny question is, do I have a relationship with your inbox? Well, the answer is you do. Each and every day, we have connections with all of the things that we do during our day. And it’s really interesting to actually stop and ask ourselves is this relationship with this particular thing, serving me in the place that I am in right now, but also for where I am headed. Now inboxes can become quite a space of all the information, so many emails that you’ve actually don’t even know where to start anymore. They’re coming in thick and thin. The list is so long, you’re missing things. You’re missing appointments, because maybe that emails come in and it hasn’t actually gone through into your calendar because of some setting in a in a system some way that’s out of your control out of your remit. So we really want to start to think about how we’re looking at our inboxes and how we can create these To actually support us in our daily operations in our daily lives, and the way that we operate our business, the way we communicate with people, to make it now easy and simple, that we actually enjoy going in there. Or do we delegate it to somebody else to an assistant who can go in there and do all those things for us, because that is also a fabulous thing to think about if you are at that stage. The first thing I wanted to talk about, though, is that if you are waking up, getting ready, coming to your desk, and first thing you do is open your inbox. Do you get stuck in that? Do you get distracted by all the things and find that actually, the focus of the day is delayed by an hour to hour? Do boundaries set around your communications in there? Are you reactive so that when an email comes in, that you have to instantly instant reply, instant reply that you’ve got to make sure that you and yourself, don’t feel comfortable? until you’ve replied to that email? And do you know that when something comes into your world, be that an email be that or text message be that a message? Mo more often than not? It is actually on somebody else’s agenda? Somebody else’s priority? So if you get one of those emails, I’m sure we’ve all had one before. If I need this urgently by today, go Okay, that’s fabulous. But have we? Is this really my responsibility to be dealing with that right now? And then if that other person on the other end has not allowed that time for planning, and that urgency? And do you really find sometimes more often than not that if you do jump and do the thing, and then there’s a response required, it goes radio silence.

So for all of these things, when you’re thinking about it, it kind of builds up that bank of evidence that shows you really your inbox, you are the owner and the master of your inbox. So it’s really up to you to set those boundaries on reply times, you know, when are you actually going to be checking your inbox? What is the purpose of your emails and your inbox as well. So understanding is it applies purely for communication, which sounds pretty silly, but our inboxes can become a task list can become our reminders for the day of things that we need to be doing, I suggest one thing that you can do right today to start to alleviate some of the noise that is appearing in your inbox, is every day when you go in and you’re allocated time to review your your emails, give yourself that little process, if you may not have heard of me talk about it before, but the four day methods, so do delay, delegate or defer. If you can do it within two minutes, reply to the email, get it out of there. Is it no longer relevant anymore? Do you have a whole inbox sitting with subscription emails that you’re not looking at, you’re just continuing to stay on the mailing list, because it’s just easier than pressing the unsubscribe button, maybe to stop person that unsubscribe button.

Just interrupting this episode for one little message. If you have been listening and love what you hear and want to come in Connect, we have a take control with the Facebook community right over there on Facebook that I would love to invite you to come and join us. We are a supportive community, we are looking to really take action in our businesses and change the way or evolve the way we’re working right now. So I invite you to come on over and join our community and connect with us. Community is the essence of everything in business, being able to really build those relationships that you can nurture, and support and celebrate each other are how fabulous, I hope to see you over there. pop on over to Facebook, take control with Nicole, see you soon.

If you have an assistant or a team member is that a task or an action that can be delegated? To get that out of there, anything that’s left in a task, a task, relative action that needs to pop on over to clickup or Asana or Trello or wherever it is that you are holding your planning and your tasks for the day. Oh, hello. Good morning. How are you? You’re wave. Yeah, so get those things out of your inbox and over into the place where you’re actually doing the doing for the day or for your week. We weren’t every, you know, few months. The other thing as well as with your inbox, are you keeping things in there as a bit of an evidence based thing to show Are you that you’ve actually been doing all the things, and then you’ve got all the emails, they’re back four years worth of emails. If you’re open your inbox at the moment, and you see this wall of noise, and you start to get that feeling inside, it’s probably time to create a folder called done, pop them on over to done, we don’t need necessarily have all the different folders, you know, in that we talk about structuring, filing structures, and all of that sort of stuff. There is a purpose, and there’s a time and a place for all of those things. And if you are really regimented in the way that you work, and you naturally fall into that filing process, absolutely created like that. However, if you’re finding that you file things, and you don’t actually know where they are anymore, using that sort of inbox, zero methodology of keeping your inbox clear, and having things moved across to a one, two or three type folder, depending on the type of map that you want to use, just automatically creates clarity and just breathing easy, because you no longer met with a big wall things. So create that one folder, pop them over there.

The other thing as well with inboxes, in your email that search functionalities now with most of the all of the providers is really extensive. So no longer do you press it, you have to type the exact email address or the exact words for instance, you can just get a generalisation of whatever it is, and you should be able to find that in your done folder. And if it is in just one folder, that’s where you go to search. But it’s not.

Today, I would love you to take some action. I’d love you just to think about how does your current inbox situation make you feel? Are you feeling every time you go in there that feeling ugh dark? Or is it somewhere that you feeling bright and light and easy. Remember that you are the master of your inbox, you can design the way it looks, you can design the way you work and move seamlessly in and out of there. You can set those boundaries around your reply times, and the types of communication that you actually want to be coming into your inbox. Remember, email is not always the best form of communication. Maybe we are using a whatsapp group and your voice messaging. Or maybe it’s actually should be in your task management system in regards to communicating using the cat chat functions in there. And the comments functions specifically on the task that you’re relating to feedback, some information for or attach something, or follow up something. So really understand the purpose of how you want your inbox to work and the types of communications that you want to flow in and out.

Remember, as well, unsubscribe, the unsubscribe button is, it should be celebrated. I know when we are sending out emails from the other side. And we say that we first start to see those people unsubscribe, and we’re like, oh, but they’re leaving me. But actually we should be like how fabulous because at this time, they are putting themselves first and they are removing some additional noise that right now they do not need in their space, and how fabulous for that one day, they may come back into our remit. But if they don’t as well fantastic, how exciting that they’ve made that decision to put themselves first. So unsubscribe, do it make yourself feel amazing by just decluttering some of those things. Also talking about unsubscribing, you might find when you’ve gone through that whole system selection. And you’ve sign up to all the different trials. I’m sure you’ve got a few different accounts floating around there for marrow, all the different things, whatever it might be. So maybe take an opportunity to do a bit of a stock check of that at some point in the next few weeks. And just as part of your new revamped inbox management, you’ll then start to see those emails being reduced because you no longer on those mailing lists.

Now when you’ve done that, you are going to feel so amazing because you’ve now know when you’re going to be checking your email each week or each day, sorry, probably check them each day, how and when are you going to respond? You’re going to know how to easily clean up some of the noise that appears in there each day. And you’re going to be enjoying the communication that does come in there because it is intentional. And you know exactly now what to do with the radio. I hope that that was really helpful. If you are finding that your inbox is a little bit overwhelming right now and you’re just not sure where to start, and you want to chat about it some more pop on over into my DMs. This is something my background was managing people’s diaries and inboxes. So I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve as well that I can share with you. So pop on over into my DMs, have a fabulous day, whatever you’re up to. And I will see you next week. Bye.

What is one action that you can take and do and implement right now, that will start to move you away from that feeling of eek, every time you open up your inbox? Remember small incremental changes over time compound to create the way that you really ideally like to work. Is it that you are going to create a rule that moves some emails directly into click up or your project management tool and then files them away? Because you know that they’re already over there? Are you going to set a habit of unsubscribing to emails that are no longer serving you right now? Or are you going to have a look at the way that you communicate with your team, with your clients, with your people, and look to see if email is actually the right solution for you, whatever the changes that you are going to introduce into the way that you manage your email, the key is really looking in and deciding what is the best option for you. Everybody claims to be the expert on email management, everybody claims to have the solution that’s going to fix it. That’s going to remove the noise from the inbox. However, my view on it is that it’s your choice. All of this is awareness, be able to be aware of the possibilities. Choose the ones that actually you enjoy to do that suit your situation, the way that your business operates, the way that you operate each and every day. And that is exactly what you need to implement.

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and enjoy creating space and time freedom by now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on social yet? If not, please come on over Say hi, I’m on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week and until next time. See you then.


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.