What You Can Do About Your Full Inbox

It’s tough to deny… Email is our closest companion and our most prolific mode of communication. Despite the personal nature of military leadership and the requirement to build close-knit teams, I can’t think of a single thing we do that isn’t planned, assigned, or communicated on email.Inbox

And if you’re like me, this list sounds familiar:

  • I feel like I need to keep every email for accountability
  • My OCD personality makes me want to sort all my emails into folders
  • I get a little anxious when I open my Inbox and find dozens of new messages
  • I have dozens, even hundreds of unread messages in my Inbox
  • I feel like I can’t leave the office without responding to the day’s new mail
  • I have checked mail while having a face-to-face conversation with someone on my team
  • I feel like email is taking up more of my day than it should

After living with the military Inbox for 16 years now, I’m convinced that few of us manage it well and could use some techniques on being more efficient. If you agree, you need to check out leadership and productivity expert Michael Hyatt’s post, “Yes, You Can Stay on Top of Email.”

Take Aways

  • You get 5 options, that’s it:  Do, Delegate, Defer, Delete, File
  • You’re wasting time by sorting emails into folders
  • Use the search box to find emails quickly
  • Use automatic rules and conditional formatting to organize your high and low priority emails

Bottom Line:  we don’t need more time to process email…we just need to be disciplined and efficient in managing it.

Questions for Leaders

  • Do you think email has negatively impacted the leadership environment in military teams?
  • Have you ever tried to move your organization away from email and engage more personally?
  • What methods do you use to manage your Inbox?

Feel free to leave a comment below.