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Productivity Experiment: Monday Mail Day | Sean Kennedy Web Services + Consulting in Vancouver, BC

Productivity Experiment: Monday Mail Day

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Currently, I manage 3 separate email inboxes for my personal, freelance, and Pitch’n emails – and every week I get a ton of emails. They range from business emails to articles and blogs I subscribe to or just personal emails from friends and family.

Over the last number of months, I have been using Mailbox to help organize my emails by scheduling unimportant emails to come back at a more convenient time. This removes them from the inbox so I don’t feel overwhelmed and makes prioritizing things a lot easier, however, I still end up with a full inbox over time.

I’ve found that as the week goes on, I’m getting busier and busier and I can never find the time to get to the emails I really want to read — even if rescheduled using Mailbox. This leads to the situation I am in now where my Pocket list is overflowing and my inboxes are full of emails (mostly articles) that I have not had a chance to review and file away.

So, starting this week, I’m going to try something as part of an experiment to increase productivity for me throughout the week — and hopefully recover some of my sanity. I’m going to be dedicating Mondays as a mail day where every Monday I get to inbox zero — no matter what!

If it’s a slow week and I finish my emails early then I’ll jump into completing tasks scheduled for the rest of the week but Monday’s goal will always be to clear out the clutter and start the week fresh. Not to say I won’t be checking emails throughout the week but it just ensures I don’t let emails sit for weeks or months hoping I’ll one day get around to them. We’ll see how it goes.

How Do You Manage Emails?

I’d be interested to hear what other people are doing to maximize their productivity, especially with email overload. If you have other ideas or just think I’m going about this all wrong, let me know in the comments!

Update

A couple weeks in and I’m already noticing my inbox being lighter. Rather than having 30+ emails that are lingering around I only have 5 or 8. A definite improvement that I think will only get better as I build a strong routine around this idea.

  • Jason Guille

    hey Sean. i’ve been running the same mission for a few years.. every monday is an admin day, with a long list – including MAILBOX = ZERO, ditto my facebook inbin. most weeks i fulfill this mission and it makes a huge difference. batching, in general, is a highly effective way to get things done – and to create the peace of mind to get OTHER things done 🙂 good luck!

    • Hey Jason!

      Yea, I was having good success with it and it did help. My problem came that I have a number of projects in the air that are time sensitive so killing a day for admin is tough. I still believe in it and will be trying it more when things slow a bit but I have also adopted the following method for clearing through emails: http://klinger.io/post/71640845938/dont-drown-in-email-how-to-use-gmail-more

      It’s a great set-up with multiple inboxes in Gmail and each has it’s own focus. So I can group all emails that a) require some action from me, b) require a response or a reply, c) are awaiting a reply (so I know which to follow-up on), or d) are emails (like newsletters) I want to read later.

      It’s a great system and helps me get to Inbox Zero on a daily basis while still maintaining order since things are nicely organized. Give it a shot! 🙂