Because they’re not worth it

I want to do a little test with you. Go to your inbox and check the last 10 emails you have just received. Then, ask yourself this simple question: Out of those 10 emails, how many will really have a long-term impact on my performance?

Bonjour, in this video I want to share a piece of advice that can help you regain control of your inbox and optimize your time. 

As I work with leaders from around the world, a common concern they express is the overwhelming volume of emails they receive daily. It’s not uncommon for them to face 100 to 500 emails per day, ranging from traditional emails to messages from various platforms like Slack, Teams, and WhatsApp. This constant influx leaves them feeling swamped and stressed, struggling to keep up with the never-ending flow.

During my training sessions, I present a simple yet revealing test. I ask leaders to go to their inbox and analyze the last 10 emails they received. Then, I pose a straightforward question: “Out of those 10 emails, how many will truly have a long-term impact on your performance?” 

The average response I receive is one. While the exact number may vary from person to person, the majority of emails are deemed to have little significance in terms of long-term impact—often amounting to less than one. 

Now, if 90% of the emails you receive fall into this category, why invest an excessive amount of time on them?

Here’s the advice I offer: Consider that 90% of the emails you receive are not worth more than five minutes of your time. Now, I understand this might sound harsh, and it’s important to adapt this rule to your specific circumstances. I’m not suggesting that you be impolite or neglect your email responsibilities. Rather, the key is to limit the time spent on these emails to five minutes or less. 

By adopting this approach, you not only save valuable time but also free up your focus for the one email out of every 10 that truly has the potential for a long-term impact on your performance. These critical emails deserve your attention and dedicated time. 

So, I ask you this: Are you spending too much time on emails that are not worth it? 

This week’s Work Smarter, Live Better tip is to put this logic to the test.  

Take a moment to assess the last 10 emails you received, and apply the principle of allocating no more than five minutes to the majority of them. By doing so, you’ll reclaim precious time and create space for the emails that truly matter. 

Wishing you a lovely day. 

A bientôt


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