Managing Emails – The 5 D’s

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Managing Emails – The 5 D’s

Use the 5D’s to manage your Email Inbox

Similar to the way we were encouraged to handle pieces of paper only once; the same is true of the way we handle emails.  When dealing with large numbers of emails, think of it firstly as more of a “SORTING” process you will use to manage your emails.

Firstly, glance through your list and delete any rubbish before you even open them. Then start with the latest/newest emails and move backwards. Starting the other way, may mean you take some action already superseded by a later email.
As you open each email, consider the 5 D process as a way of only handling emails once. You can shorten this to the 3 D’s (first 3 D’s), though I prefer the 5 D’s…..
  1. Delete it. If you don’t need it, delete it. Most of us keep far too much stuff, just in case. Most times we never need it and you can almost be sure of finding it again.
  2. Do it.  If it can be done quickly (less than 2 minutes say) then handle it immediately. If it is going to take much longer, do it later.
  3. Delegate it – Is this something that someone else could be or should be doing? If so, delegate it by forwarding the email to someone else with appropriate instructions.
  4. Deposit it – File your email away in one of your Email Folders. Resist the temptation to leave it in your Inbox.
  5. Defer It or Do Later – If is going to take longer than 2 -3 minutes, then defer it. That is, schedule to do it later.
There are a number of ways you can defer an email. You can:
  • Create a sub folder in your Inbox where you can move emails that you cannot deal with immediately.
  • Drag the email to create a task or to your calendar for dealing with later.
  • Copy or Move the email to create a Task or Calendar Appointment/Reminder
If you want to know how to easily do this, then email me and I will send you some more information.
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