How to master your inbox in 3 steps

Most business owners are used to dealing with a flooded inbox, but I know for me, scouring through hundreds of emails not only wasted a lot of time, but could also be extremely overwhelming.

This peak performance productivity tip is seriously powerful, and it’s called Touch It Once.

I had to develop this concept because I was one of those people who let their inbox explode and overflow. There would be like 3000 emails sitting in there at any one time! It got to the point where there were so many fucking emails that I didn’t know where to start.

Sometimes I would go out of my inbox three or four hours later feeling like I had gone backwards so I needed to do something drastic – so with the help of my very good friend Chris Farrell, he encouraged me to start fresh.

So I did. And this is not for the faint-hearted. I deleted ALL of my emails. All of them. I did a ‘delete all’ and I have to admit I was nervous at first, but I knew if someone really wanted to reach me they would pick up the phone or resend the email.

But then I had to ensure that I didn’t let my inbox explode again and that’s when I created the Touch It Once formula.

It’s a three step process. Basically, every time you open your inbox you need to be committed to taking one of three actions. And by doing this it makes you very selective of when you go into your emails so you can ensure you have enough time to follow the process.

Number 1 – Delete it

I know it sounds pretty obvious but a lot of people hang on to emails that they really just don’t need anymore. So if you open the email, you read the email and if you don’t need to respond, or forward, or file it, then delete it then and there.

Number 2 – Delegate or take action

This means the moment you open and read your email, if there is someone that email needs to be sent to, if there is a priority, if there is an activity or an action that you need to take, you do it immediately. You don’t close it and get back to it later, you forward it straight away or you take the action that’s required yourself in order to fulfil the requirements of the email.

Number 3 – File it

Simply open, read and file. And again, you don’t wait you just do it.

If you do this three step process every single day you should have no new emails sitting in your inbox.  

The whole key to making this process work is that you don’t open an email unless you’re willing to take one of the three steps, which again, forces you to make sure you have the time to do what’s required.

From doing this I’ve limited the time I spend on my emails significantly.

This hack not only increases productivity but also gives you more head space and a lot less stress.

Kerwin Rae