The 4D approach… No it’s not what you think

Nov 10, 2016

It’s the bane of office – the email inbox. Some days I envy the people on a worksite or performing surgery in the ER… you know, those people who don’t have emails or an overflowing inbox. But in reality, even those people nowadays have newsletters, industry updates, job enquiries and spam mail.

Regardless of your role, we can all get sidetracked by mail – so here’s a handy tool to help you step back, breath and think about what’s important:

Defer
Does it really need to be done today? If not make it part of tomorrow’s timeslot for emails. Or if there’s more time, push it back further. I used calendar alerts for emailed to be actioned by a certain date.

Delegate
You cant do everything and even if you’re a one man band – there are such things as virtual assistants and airtasker to help you outsource. I know what you’ll say, they cost money… but honestly if you’re not getting your work done because you’re too busy answering emails – surely it’s worth the investment.

Whatever you’re situation, if you can delegate – do it.

Delete
It’s brutal, but sometimes this is only thing to do. Spam, Junk and even threads you’ve been copied in on but are not relevant can go. If it’s important archive it. If it’s a newsletter you never read, unsubscribe and if it’s nothing to do with you – delete. Tidy inbox = tidy mind.

Do
Sometimes it is that urgent that it needs to be actioned right away, so don’t procrastinate. Deal with it and move on but try not to let it distract you from your other jobs.

Don’t
Ok so this isn’t one of the 4, but so many people send emails when they could just get up from their desk, physically walk over to the person and have a conversation. If you work in the same office or coworking space (see what we did there?) it’s so much quicker to hash it out in person so unless you need written evidence of something – let your feet do the talking!

Back to Community page