Saturday, February 13, 2010

28 Days To Living Organized - Day 13 - Email: Defer

28 Days to Living Organized

Email: Defer

Sometimes you get an email that you just can't respond to right now.  Maybe you don't know the answer.  Maybe it requires some kind of research or collaboration with others.  Maybe it's a non-urgent request that you need to get to sometime in the next 14 days.

It does happen sometimes.  Although it's usually better to respond right away there are times it's just not possible.  When that is the case, you can defer things. 

How do you defer?
* Make sure you make a tickler for yourself that you do need to do it!
     - put a task on your to-do list for the follow up steps you need to take or phone calls to make
     - move the email to a "Defer" folder that you check at the end of each day (or each week).  Set aside time each day (or week) to spend an hour working through the things in your "Defer" folder.

I firmly believe that this step is the that makes most of our inboxes so large.  We leave things there that we need to do something about but don't want to do it right now.


Two simple steps:
1. Defer as little as possible. 
2. What you must defer, set aside time to come back to. This is critical if you don't want to have a "defer" folder that is just as large as your inbox used to be.  You can't defer forever.  And if you are going to defer forever then go back up to step one and DELETE!

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