In today’s business world, it seems as if our in-box is never empty. But now, it is getting even more full! How can you tame a busy in-box? Here are 5 of our favorite tips to help you get it well under control.
Aim to handle each piece of paper only once. This is a classic business tip and it has helped many successful professionals in different industries. It isn’t always possible to do with every document that comes your way, but you might be surprised that when you set the goal to do this, you are able to remove quite a few documents from your in-box without stress or hassle.
Set priorities and stick to them. Focus on being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to your in-box. If you set priorities with your in-box and know there are projects you must get done, then you stand a stronger chance of getting them completed. But if you focus on just responding to each project that comes in as it comes in – you probably wont get as much done by the end of the day or week.
When you do something – do it right away. This is one of our best tips. Don’t put off doing something once you’ve decided it needs to get done. If you have taken something out of your in-box and realize you need to contact a vendor to get a quote for supplies, email or call them right away. The more you put off these things, the more planning you’ll have to do. This goes back to handling a piece of paper only once – if you do things immediately then they are done and you don’t have to think about them.
Keep your desk and workspace organized so you are ready to get work done. Getting through your in-box quickly is only going to work if you are able to find what you need easily. If you have to search for invoices or other documents to clear out your in-box, things are going to take twice as long, even longer! If you cant find things now, start clearing out clutter and cleaning up your desk and workspace, knowing this will have a positive effect on your in-box results.
Tell staff how to handle items so they don’t wind up in your in-box. This is one of the best things you can do. One of the reasons some executives or business owners have a big in-box is because they are micro managers, they have to be involved in every little detail. If you let go of some of the smaller details that matter less than a successful result, you can clear out some of the things that would wind up in your in-box in the first place!
It is possible to tame your in-box. While it doesn’t happen overnight, if you start to make efforts now, you will very likely see a great improvement within a month and see good improvement in a week or even a few days. The most important factor to consider is being consistent to help get successful results. Every in-box can be tamed, even the most fierce and the fullest!