The Ease of Hustle Podcast
31. Get Out of Your Inbox
You think that perfectionism is a bad thing, that it is something that you need to “overcome,” but that isn't true.
If you’re familiar with me and my work, you might already be aware of this. But for anyone who is new here: I hate email! It’s one of those necessary evils that we can’t avoid when we’re running a business. But while it’s necessary, that doesn’t mean it has to dictate how you spend your workday.
Many clients come to me with inboxes that are overflowing with so much stuff that it’s a miracle they see when an important email comes in. So, in this episode, I’m going to help you get down to Inbox Zero, and most importantly, build the habits that will keep your inbox as close to empty as possible.
Join me on the podcast this week to discover the three habits that are keeping your inbox a complete mess, and what you can do about them. I’m sharing how to initially get on top of your inbox now, so you can spend less time there during your workdays in the future.
What You'll Learn From This Episode:
- How I see my clients throw a lot of their time and energy into their inbox
- Why your inbox is a great reflector of how strong your workflows are (or aren't)
- How to discover what amazing things you could accomplish if you weren’t checking your inbox incessantly
- Three things that are keeping you in your inbox longer than you need to be
- How to start clearing up your email habits so you can move towards inbox zero
Download the Easeful Inbox Zero PDF
Listen to the Full Episode:
31. Get Out of Your Inbox
Featured On The Show:
Full Episode Transcript:
Hey, how’s it going? Are you having an amazing week? I hope so. I have been having all of the plot twists in my company recently. The beginning of 2021 has been incredibly fascinating, challenging, and really causing me to manage my mind, process emotions, and trust that this all is happening for a purpose and that it’s going to serve me in the long run, working through everything that’s been happening.
A lot of what’s been happening, you’ll be finding out more of as it unfolds, so I’ll be a little vague about it. But just know that things don’t always go as you planned in business or in your life. And that doesn’t mean that anything is going the wrong way or that you messed up or that things aren’t going to be created the way that you desire.
But things might just have a different course or pathway that you thought. And they might take a turn and then turn again in a way that is really more in alignment with what you wanted. This happened recently for me. I’ll just tell you a little bit of a quick story.
So, we’ve been working on building out a membership site, not to create a membership, but just create a course platform for you to be able to have login access for certain things that I’m going to be offering you. It might be already out this week. It might not be. It might be in the next few weeks. I don’t even know as I record this. And normally, I would be so perfectionistic about that that I wouldn’t even mention it, or I would wait to record this when I know more. But I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to tell you, I don’t know when it’s out, but it will be out really soon if it’s not out already.
So, if you want to know that for sure, you definitely want to be on our email list, which is funny for me to say as I’m also telling you to get out of your inbox. But I promise, what I send you is super-valuable and you can use some of the tips and tricks I give you about inbox-zero in order to manage the emails I send you as well. But if you want to know about when those things come out, you definitely want to be on the email list. Because that’s where I send all of the most up-to-date information.
Anyway, back to the plot twist. So, we’ve been working on building out this custom site and then I started working with somebody, kind of an astrologer, which is really weird because I’m not usually into astrology. But I recently started dabbling with that a little bit.
And one of the things somebody I got a reading with said was that the date of my website relaunch, because we’re going to be relaunching my website, wasn’t the most favorable. And so, I was asking my web developer if we could push back the launch and all of that. And then, they were saying it was going to cost me a lot of money to change our contract, blah, blah, blah. And so, fine, I’ll let it go. And so, I was asking this astrologer, for lack of a better term, what we should do.
So, she was saying maybe we should just do like a soft launch, not really announce it to you all. And then later in the next month, do more of a splashy release and launch of the new site and the new offerings and all of that.
And so, I sat with that for a little while, and then we ended up having this plot twist come up for the membership platform. There were just a lot of things that ended up happening and unfolding. And so, we couldn’t use the buildout we were planning on using to begin with. And we ended up going to another buildout that I had actually been considering before the one that we were doing.
And we ended up landing on that one, but we had to change that really last-minute. And so, then it was really a tight crunch for things and would be difficult on my designer and just my team to be able to change everything over. So, the web developer graciously said we could push back the launch two weeks.
And that got it way closer to this time that the astrologer was saying would be better. And they would do it without charging me additional money. So, it was just so funny. It still is going to be quite a project for my team and the designer and everyone to be able to get this together in a timely fashion. But I’m so glad for the additional time and that it will be launching in what might be a better time, at least if we’re listening to what the planets do and all of that kind of thing, which I still kind of feel funny talking about on the podcast.
But I am starting to get more curious and interested in some of these types of things, as you’ve been hearing. So, stick with me, I’m still going to give you lots of practical stuff that will make a lot of logical sense to your mind, and also mix in some of the spiritual, some of the out-there woo stuff as well for those who are open and interested in that.
Alright, so today’s episode, we’re going to talk about email. If you know me at all, you know that I hate email. Yeah, I said it. But why? Why do I hate email so much? It’s often a very ineffective tool that folks are using rather mindlessly and giving their energy and time to when they could be using it elsewhere.
Maybe that elsewhere is in this business’s creating actual value that could be sold or serve clients. Maybe it just would give you extra time to rest or read or take a walk. Can you tell what I like to do in my free time? It’s very obvious. Or study something new or spend time with your partner, friend, acquaintance, neighbor, community member, your dog, cat, guinea pig, whatever it is.
I just get the sense and have been seeing this time and time again with clients that they throw a lot of energy and time away to their email. And I would love to teach you all how to stop doing this. But before I do, I want you to consider, how would you use your time or what would you use your time and energy for if you weren’t in your inbox so much?
If you weren’t constantly checking your inbox every five minutes during a workday, what would life be like? What would you have time for? What would you have energy for? You would for sure distract yourself less, have much less cognitive load, and imagine what you would create or how you would rest.
An inbox is always an indicator for me of how effective someone’s workflows are. It’s a great temperature check. If it’s bursting at the seams, if it has lots of numbers in that red badge, which why do you still have that red badge on? I don’t know. It’s okay. I still love you.
We have to dive deeper into what the root issues are. So, what are some of those? I’m going to tease you with some of them today, But I go in depth – well, more in depth – in a PDF that used to be called Select All. So, some of you probably have it if you’re on my email list. You probably got that to get on the email list. It used to be the freebie to get on the email list.
Now it’s called Easeful Inbox Zero PDF. I’m offering that to you today to dive more into this. You’re also going to have a course that I’m currently developing and will be either available when this comes out or will be available shortly after, whenever our new site and that lovely course portal that we’re talking about in the beginning is available, you will have this course available to you.
And I’m really excited because we’re also developing some more live components where I can help you figure out how to get out of your inbox and back into your life a little bit more. But before we talk more about that – I’m so excited about it. I can’t help but talk about it before I even teach you what I want to teach you today.
So, some of the three reasons – I’m going to give you three things that are keeping you in your inbox longer than what you might prefer. So, one is that you don’t set aside time for email processing. I also sometimes don’t do this very well. But you want to make sure that you’re setting aside time for email processing.
I would recommend at least 30 minutes a day and it depends on what profession you’re in and where you’re starting from in your inbox zero journey. So, you might need to have more frequent times. You might need to have even some 15-minute check-ins every 45 minutes, depending on what you do.
But you want to set aside time for actual processing of the inbox and getting as close to inbox zero as possible. So, as you’re doing that processing, you’re not just poking through emails. You’re actually clearing them.
So, you’re deleting them, you’re archiving them. You’re putting the message where it belongs. You’re putting calendar stuff in calendar, you’re putting contact stuff in contacts. You’re putting stuff to read later in where you’re going to read it later. You’re filing PDFs where they go in your filing system. You’re replying to emails, making sure that you’re anticipating what the questions will be from the recipient. You’re unsubscribing, which leads me to number two.
Number two is that you remain subscribed to things that you’re not actually engaging with. So many people just hit delete on these subscriptions rather than opening the email and hutting unsubscribe. A lot of times, we’re not honest with ourselves about, “Am I actually, on a regular basis, reading what this person or this email list has to offer?”
The answer probably is not. You’re probably just deleting it a lot of the times. I go into depth in the course about different ways to handle emails that you might still want but don’t need to be processing on a regular basis or those coupons and things like that, how to handle those things.
But I would recommend just starting now, as much as you can on a daily basis during your email processing time that we talked about in one, opening the email, and hitting unsubscribe. And no, I don’t recommend using those platforms that roll up all of your subscriptions into one email. I talk more about why I don’t like that in the course, of course.
But in number three, you are using your inbox for non-inbox things. This often happens. I see people emailing themselves notes, emailing themselves, “Don’t forget this,” saving addresses, saving contact details, saving PDFs, saving to-dos, saving project management, all sorts of things happening in the inbox that don’t belong in the inbox.
I want you to think about your inbox like an actual mailbox. And if you’re thinking about the actual mailbox, would you keep to-dos in your mailbox? Would you keep things you want to save in your mailbox? Probably not.
Would you keep junk mail just hanging out in the mailbox? Probably not. You’d probably recycle it and try to figure out how to get off somebody’s list by going online and filing, like, “Stop spamming me with all this mail.”
And a lot of the times, we don’t want to slow down to develop the processes and systems and be strategic about the root issue because that takes additional time and energy right then in the moment. But if we do that, if we invest that time and energy in the moment to solve the root issue, it will pay off dividends and compound in future periods of time.
So, if you’re strategic up front, if you start to devote time with, “Why am I getting so many emails in the first place? What is this one? Why am I getting this one? What do I really need from this? What’s the purpose of receiving this email? And if I could keep the purpose, if I still need it, how could I do that without having to daily process this email.”
You’re going to come up with much better solutions that will compound and pay you back in time and energy daily probably, for most of these things; daily, weekly, monthly. And you’ll end up being able to maintain inbox zero and also to devote your time and energy where it’s really meant to be.
So, in summary, you can get out of your inbox. Start by setting aside time that’s devoted to focused processing of the email, deciding what you’re going to do with each and every piece of email then, not just leaving it there for later, unless it’s a big project, then archive it, put on your calendar what the subject is and when you’re going to actually accomplish that project.
Make sure you’re not remaining subscribed to things that you really don’t need to be subscribed to. And then, stop using your inbox for non-inox things. Think about it like a mailbox, “Would I keep this in the mailbox? Have it overflow and the mailman, or mailperson, say we’re not going to deliver things anymore because your mailbox is completely full.”
Or think about those voicemail messages like, “The inbox is completely full. You can’t leave another message.” What if we had that for our email inboxes? We’d probably be much more on top of them.
The point is not just to get to inbox zero for inbox zero perfectionistic sake. The purpose is just to develop these habits that get us out of our inbox and back into what matters in our lives. I would love to help you do this and help you really problem-solve what mindset things are blocking you from being able to do this and what solutions you might not be seeing in my mini course. So, if you’re not already on our list to know when it comes out, make sure that you are.
You’re also going to get that PDF that will help you get started getting out of your inbox called Easeful Inbox Zero PDF. You can get that at vivere.co/31 for today’s show notes and that will help you also be on the list and you’ll be the first to know when that course comes out.
But if the website is relaunched and up to date when you’re listening to this, you’ll be able to get it under the shop whenever you’re ready. And we’re going to be continuing to add to it, to build it out, to answer your questions, to help you become a very savvy inbox processor. I can’t wait to help you do that.
Until next time, have a good time outside of your inbox. Bye.
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