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many many 2 minute items

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  • many many 2 minute items

    I have a problem.

    On a daily basis i get such an amount of email(which fit in the 2 minute rule) that i am ony handling email. (i am a turning into an emailmanager in stead of a regular manager)
    If i miss a part of the day due to a meeting or otheriwise i get so far behind that even the 2 minute rule is nog working anymore.
    This also means i can not get to my next actions lists.......of weekly reviews and i am getting behind and behind.

    I use GTD for delegating and next actions but never seems to get the emailbox empty.
    I am allways delegating, turning in next actions, deferring, and handling (2-minute) email.

    anybody recognizes this?

    Jerry
    Last edited by HoD; 10-02-2007, 02:14 PM.

  • #2
    Jerry, you are not alone. I've been there and return more than I like.

    You say that you're handling emails all day within the 2-minute rule. Here are some strategies to cope with that:

    1) The 2-minute rule is a guide. Just because you can do it within 2 minutes doesn't mean you have too.

    2) At 2-minutes per item you will be handling 30 emails per hour or 120 in a morning. If you're not getting through that many emails you're spending more than 2 minutes each. I found my 2 minutes were more like 15-20 (this email is already more than 2 minutes to type).

    3) Process. Process. Process. And organise. Don't do. For each email item, decide the next action, put aside for filing or trash. If I have a large in-tray I do each GTD step discretely. If it needs filing and the file is right beside me I will put a post-it note on top and write file in abc. Then I move to the next item. This works for me because I get to cover everything in my in tray quickly and can then determine what I have to do next. It's likely not to be filing.

    4) Look for things to delegate and do so. If you have an assistant or co-worker that something should go do, add it to an agenda for them.

    5) Be ruthless. If you don't need to handle it, delete.

    6) Be realistic. If this is part of your job that you have to be traffic cop for all the information across your desk then that is the way it is. Acceptance of where you are can be just as powerful.

    If any of the above work for you Jerry, please let us know.

    David

    Comment


    • #3
      It can be a bear to keep up with the system. I know I have my challenges and have an inbox that needs to be processed.

      Just have faith and keep working the system.

      Comment


      • #4
        It is difficult. A few observations:

        It does look like you've got a lot of email that isn't really following the 2-minute rule. I've been surprised at just how long it takes to type an email. Are you really spending just two minutes per email? Have you timed it?

        Could you be responding to emails that don't absolutely need to be replied to? What if you spent a day just reading emails and didn't reply to any of them?

        What if you block off an hour to not do emails?

        What are you being emailed about? Do you need to be emailed about every single thing you're being emailed about now?

        Comment


        • #5
          Spending all day processing email sounds daunting and I can see why you are frustrated.

          1. Perhaps some of these emails really should have been directed at the person this is delegated to. Does every email need to go through you?
          2. Can some of your email replies be grouped? How about adding tasks to an agenda list for different people and then emailing these people about several things at once, instead of replying immediately to each email. Then set a time, several times a day if you like, where you process these agendas

          These are my 2 cents. Maybe you are doing this already. (I spent more than 2 minutes on this reply )

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks

            Thanks for the replies
            I now did use some of the answers like
            deleting, file an defer and better judging whats the next action.

            But now the next action list is piling.
            When do you alle handle that email?
            In special handling blox each day and turning of receivin email?

            Jerry

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HoD View Post
              Thanks for the replies
              I now did use some of the answers like
              deleting, file an defer and better judging whats the next action.

              But now the next action list is piling.
              When do you alle handle that email?
              In special handling blox each day and turning of receivin email?

              Jerry
              Yes Jerry, the next action list piles up with the actions generated by incoming email that has been processed. Perhaps the question to ask yourself is "what do you mean by handle that email?"

              David

              Comment


              • #8
                I handle all the email a couple times per day. If the email contains actions for me to do, then I add appropriate Actions or Projects to my lists.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If my system ist running, I try to work as follows:

                  According to "Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management" by Mark Forster I have a quick glance at my e-mail 2-3 times a day, if there are mails which need an immediate response. Only these are directly processed. Here you should be very restrictive.
                  The other mails I process in one bunch at the end of the day or the next day.

                  Yours
                  Alexander

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ha! Very similar to my system at work. I scan email in the morning, once I'm settled in, for any emergencies. As you say, hth, the key is to be very restrictive. I then close email until 11:00 am, at which point I process everything. I then close email, and open it up at 4:00 pm and process completely.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hth View Post
                      According to "Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management" by Mark Forster I have a quick glance at my e-mail 2-3 times a day, if there are mails which need an immediate response. Only these are directly processed. Here you should be very restrictive.
                      The other mails I process in one bunch at the end of the day or the next day.
                      I just forgot to mention, that I switched off notifications when e-mails arrive. They would disrupt my work if they appear, regardless how unimportant they are.

                      Yours
                      Alexander

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Amen to that. I don't know how people can be productive when they're interrupted several dozen times each day by every email that comes in, even unnecessary ones.

                        Comment

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