How to Manage Email Time with the Under-Two-Minute Rule

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In Brief...

Plan on spending no more than 15 minutes cleaning out your email box each time you undertake this task. Try doing this first thing in the morning, after lunch, and then again before going home for the evening. Use the "under-two-minute rule" to address each message.

Instructions

  1. If it requires an immediate response, then reply to it and then either delete it or file it. We will talk about filing a little later.
  2. If it is something that requires you to do something other than respond, drag it to either your task folder or your calendar and schedule it appropriately.
  3. If it is something you can delegate, forward it to someone with proper instructions for delegating it. If you forward it for delegation, then drag it to your task folder and set it up as a task someone else is doing and you need to either follow up or have requested status updates on.
  4. Spend less than two minutes with each email. If it cannot be handled in that time frame, then schedule it either as a task or calendar item.

The point of the under-two-minute rule is to clear your inbox so you do not waste time searching for emails. You will know where to find them because you either filed them or assigned them to your task folder or calendar.

Author: Janie Sullivan

Janie Sullivan, MBA, MAEd, has been teaching adult learners for over 20 years. She has taught online over 15 years, specializing in writing, communications, and small business applications. Janie directs the Center for Writing Excellence where she offers writing, editing, and formatting services for writers. She has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as multiple online sites. She teaches communication, business strategy, leadership, and management courses. Janie has published a book "Develop and Deliver an Online Class." This is the third book she has written about writing and teaching online. She also has published a novel and an anthology of short stories.

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