Chapter 7, Day 2.
A is for Agendas – For different sorts of interactions, you will need next actions on separate “Agenda” lists. Some examples would be a separate list or agenda for boss, partner, assistant, spouse, children, attorney, financial advisor, etc. Separate folders would be useful, as well, if you have material you need to go over with one or more of these individuals.
B is for Bring a piece of your Read/Review stack with you – You do not need an action list for this one. All you need is the stack itself. You should have a few of these items stuck into a file so when you actually have some free time, such as sitting in the waiting room before seeing your dentist, or waiting for a meeting that’s late starting, you’ll have the free time to view these items.
C is for C-ing (or seeing) the emails you need to take action on. Managing Email – Mr. Allen recommends creating different folders for those longer-than-two-minute emails. Set them up so that they can be easily viewed and accessed “at the top of your folders in the navigation bar. Use something like the “@” sign in Microsoft or the dash (“-“) in Lotus, which sort into their systems at the top. Your resulting “@ ACTION” folder will hold those e-mails that you need to do something about.” You can also have “@WAITING FOR,” and any other folder/title that will be useful to you.
If you answer an email, yet still need to track that particular email, such as track a delegation or any other further action, you can copy yourself on that sent email, so not only will it be in your “Sent” items, it’ll be in your “Inbox,” which you can click and move from “Inbox” to “@ACTION,” or “@WAITING.” Makes good sense, I think. I like this plan. Keeping everything in your “Inbox” is just disorganized, lumped in with all the rest of those emails you don’t really need to take any action on, you may just need to read or delete. Try going through each email every morning, take care of any 2-minute emails, then distribute the others to their designated file folder for safe-keeping or further action folders. Then, once all have been read and distributed, you can access your “@ACTION” folder and go from there. Work through your email inbox several times per day and try to have all of them distributed to their designated folders before you leave for the day. Think about how much less stressed you’ll be with your Inbox empty and you won’t have any wasted time when you know all your actionable items or open loops are right there, reminding you of where they are and you have something to do and nothing will go undone, yet your Inbox will be neat and less for you to think about. Easy peasy.
Can’t believe it’s the last day of February already. The year is flying by. Seems like we just entered into 2011. Anywho, I hope y’all are making this an awesome, productive day, even if it is Monday. I know how tough Mondays can be. Chat with ya tomorrow. Love ya! *hug*