Eliminate Email

Hi this Cyril from Work Smarter: Live Better. In this short video, I want to share with you one simple tip to reduce the number of emails you have to keep.

I’m, at the moment, in London and you can see the beautiful city of London behind me; clear blue day, blue sky, beautiful day. And I’m working with one of my clients; I’m working with some executives and a group of senior managers. And they all have this pain, which is the number of email(s) that cluttered their system. And they keep hundreds, thousands and thousands of emails. So I ask quite often my clients a simple question, How do you file email? Where do you keep it and how do you file it? And I’ve got different answers: I’ve got the, ‘I create folders and I’ve got a long, long, long list of folders.’ I’ve got the ‘I like to create folders and subfolders and subfolders or the tree logic and it’s really a nightmare to go and navigate. Some of my clients have got so many emails that they create new PST after new PST. And some of them just give up and throw… nightmare and just keep everything in my inbox and it’s just a mess.

So I’ve got a very simple logic: think about how often you go back to the document you filed. In the old days, papers, survey was showing that 85% of what people were keeping, (they) would never go back to it again: 85%. Email is probably 98%. 98% of the email you keep, you never got back to it again. The problem is the 2% that you really needed; it’s hidden in this mess. So I’ve got a very simple suggestion: 80-10-10.

What do I mean by ’80-10-10’? 80% of the email you’re receiving should be deleted. 10% would go into a secret folder called ‘half-way-to-the-bin’ and 10% would be filed. So 80-10-10: 80% delete: Be ruthless. There’s so many things you can delete that you don’t need. Be absolutely ruthless straight away. Your biggest folder is what I call ‘My friend: the bin.’  Delete 80%. 10%, you say ‘Aw, I don’t want to delete it but I just want to keep it for a few days.’ Half way to the bin or create a folder that you call Half-way-to-the-bin. And only file the 10%.

Now, you might not get through the 80-10-10; it might be the 60-20-20 and that’s fine. But your number one folder, your first thing is, ‘Can I delete it?’ and try to delete as much as you can.

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip, I hope you enjoyed it. If you do, press a like or even better, leave a comment. Maybe share one thing, one idea about how you file your emails. I’ll see you soon. Thanks.

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