Create Tools to Prioritize Your Inbox
Episode #3 of the course Hacking your inbox for maximum productivity by Wil Schroter
In this chapter: Create a priority contact list to sort email quickly
Take a few minutes and reflect on what you’ve accomplished this past week. We’ll wait.
How much of your day was spent handling random, one-off things that either could have been handled by someone else or took priority over what you really needed to get done?
Yeah, we thought so. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. We can get through this together.
While we suggest joining forces with one of our stellar VAs, you can take care of the enemy that is email by first prioritizing your inbox. This means you need to figure out what needs real attention, then figure out what needs real attention first.
Prioritize: Create Priority Contact Lists to Sort Quickly
Your VA may be really smart but is not a mind reader (that costs extra).
It’s up to you to provide context as to what your priorities are. The first pass you can use is based on who your contacts are. You know how you set up your “favorites” on your phone? That’s an important filter. It’s a reflection of who in your world gets more attention than others. We need that list for the rest of your life.
ACTION: Share a list of your critical contacts to form an “A-List,” “B-List,” and “D-List”
• The “A-Listers” are the people who get VIP treatment. Your spouse, your kids, your boss, your customers, your investors, your doctor. When those messages come through the door, you want 100% of your attention there.
• The “B-Listers” you’ll get to later. These are the equivalent of friends on Facebook you’re not unfriending, but they aren’t showing up first in your feed. You don’t know if they are married, whether they have kids, or what they’ve been doing since high school. They aren’t on the A-List, but you’d still like to be reminded that they reached out.
• The “D-Listers” get no love. This is pretty much everyone else. These are the Pauly Shores of contacts. Don’t know who Pauly Shore is? Even better. Everything from <funny reference to spam type> to the sales person who keeps hounding you for a meeting. You want all of these emails to never make it to your world to begin with.
The priority lists will change over time. You’re not going cold turkey here. For the first few days/weeks/months, you’re still going to review email as it comes in and add/remove people from these lists until you tune it perfectly. For the time being, it’s just important to know you’ll need to start working on the list.
Communicate with your VA about your A-, B-, and D-Listers so that they know what needs to take precedence in your inbox.
“Daily Inbox Zero: 9 Proven Steps to Eliminate Email Overload (Productive Habits Book 5)” by S.J. Scott
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