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Processing and Organizing Your E-Mail in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

Processing and Organizing Your E-Mail for 30 Minutes

OK, you’re now ready to fly solo and process your e-mail using the Four Ds for Decision Making. You’ll do this for 30 minutes because we want you to discover exactly how many messages you can process in that time frame. For example, if you receive 60 e-mail messages a day and can process 30 messages in 30 minutes, you can estimate you’ll process your e-mail in one hour a day. That’s important information to know!

You’ll also learn that using the Four Ds for Decision Making is invigorating because you make a decision for each message and move it out of your Inbox. If your Inbox is particularly full, don’t worry; you’ll work on emptying your Inbox later in this chapter, but for now we want you to experience processing e-mail for just 30 minutes.

Get a timer and set it for 30 minutes or use your computer’s clock. Sort your e-mail in the view you want to work with: by sender, by date, or by Subject line. Work one e-mail message at a time until the alarm goes off or 30 minutes has elapsed on your computer’s clock.

A few guidelines before you start. When you open an e-mail message, do not leave it in the Inbox, make sure you take action and move through the Four Ds for Decision Making. Watch yourself when you want to avoid dealing with a message. Push through your reluctance and keep focused on making decisions and transferring mail out of the Inbox. We’ve never found an e-mail message that couldn’t be deleted, done, delegated, or deferred. Somewhere, there’s always an answer for every message, but you might need to dig for it. Don’t get caught up in responding to an e-mail message if it takes more than two to three minutes. See if you can delegate it or, if not, defer it to one of your SNA categories. No jumping around now—one e-mail at a time, starting from the top. Away you go!