Well basically it happened to me today! Mainly because of Memorial Day, I had the chance to clean up my inbox. However this does not mean only reading or glancing one email after another or “Mark all as read:.
Do the following (some taken from the “Getting things done” book by David Allen, just a bit modified for my needs)
– If there is nothing you can do about it, simply mark as read and let it go. This is the most difficult one of all categories because it is hard to accept that there is nothing you can actually do about it. Accept it
– If you can do something but not now and it is not that importante, then [create a task in Jira (I have my own) or some other task tracking/Kanban/post it/whatever system you use] so that you can take care of it later. This is your “do it later, not important queue”.
– If it is important, you can complete it now and it is (relatively) quick then
– If it is important but you can’t complete it now, then schedule it in your important queue. Use Kanban when possible. No more than 5 important tasks queued as then you will only be moving your mess from your inbox to your task list and this is not the idea. Scheduling is key, else you can just kick the bucket.
Remember never to procrastinate!
I recommend also reading the Productivity Manifesto by Nathan Barry too, which is very good however in some cases it is not possible to follow his advice. I can’t do blocks of 25 minutes of my time, else some people of my team could be blocked and waste minutes of their time. And no, I am not that important but in some cases dependencies arise and minutes count.