There’s something about Autumn that brings the end of the year into sharp focus.
There is pressure to:
- Finish budgets
- Push projects over the finish line
- Prepare for the launch of a product
- Achieve those performance goals that were set way back in January.
During the full days of fall, it’s easy for driven professionals to drift away from the daily practices that help us. The problem is that you don’t really notice the impact of that drift until things get out of control, like our inbox.
The key to getting back into your productivity groove is to notice the drift and plan your recovery.
My favorite method for inbox recovery is flying somewhere . The hours of being strapped in a seat, with the promise of a movie if I finish before landing, help me process a bloated inbox of over 300 e-mails down to about 10 that I need to keep front and center.
But what if you don’t have any trips planned?
What if all you have is Friday at 3pm with no meetings?
It’s time to put yourself in airplane mode
Here are 5 steps for regaining control of your inbox:
- Grab your laptop
- Find a small space with minimal distractions that is NOT your normal work spot (think small conference room at the office or quiet bedroom at home).
- Set a timer, put your phone in airplane mode, and disconnect from Wi-Fi (at least for the first 30 min).
- Check your starting number, then get after it – do, delete, delegate, defer (aka schedule the task).
- When time is up, or you reach the point of no further action being able to be taken today – exit airplane mode, flip on the wifi to send everything, and celebrate that new inbox total before you close out!
The Monday you will thank you for the reset.