It would be easy to get a lot done if we didn’t have so much to get done.
Yes, the dreaded lists of tasks, the inbox.
There are ways to clear out that inbox (short of just trashing everything), and in his book “How to Be a Productivity Ninja,” Graham Allcott offers a few suggestions on just how to do it. Allcott wrote that it is done in four stages:
* Setup. Set up three processing folders in the inbox: Action, Read, Waiting. Optional: Get rid of any subfolders, and reduce the number of reference folders.
* Hacking. If there are a lot of old emails, start with an “Email death row,” a single folder where it is safe to chuck all the stuff that’s so old there won’t be any actions required. Under the “Arrange By” button, click to select “From.” Then look for opportunities to cull people.
* Processing one by one. Eventually there will be: A folder with a few emails requiring action; A folder with a couple of reports to print and read; and, A folder for tracking other people’s actions and that they can be chased with later.
* Completion. There are two types: Inbox Zero and Complete Zero. Allcott said he tries to get to inbox zero every time he shuts down.