how to take back control over your email inbox

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How many unread emails do you have in your inbox? Are you drowning in email? Is it taking over control? Here is a series of incredible tips, tricks, and techniques that you can use to regain control over your email inbox.

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  • Your Money: Your Choices December 9 th,

    2013

    Page 1 of 22

    NARRATOR: Roth IRAs, CDs, stocks, insurance, your 401K what are the right

    choices for your financial future? Your Money: Your Choices

    will clear up the confusion surrounding these concepts with clear

    and concise information. Youll get tips and tools that you can put

    into action right now to help save your hard-earned income in

    ways that will protect your future. Whether youre a single mom or

    a father of five, Your Money: Your Choices will put your money

    back in your control where it belongs!

    Now heres your host, Hank Coleman.

    HANK COLEMAN: From M a i n Street America, t h i s i s t h e Your Money: Your

    Choices podcast. Im Hank Coleman. Thanks for joining us

    today. You can find me on my website, MoneyQandA.com

    discussing all things personal finance. Thats also where youll

    find the show notes for todays show. Be sure to email me,

    Hank@MoneyQandA.com with any comments or questions that

    you have from todays show.

    An article on the Huffington Post recently talked about email as a

    large-scale, unwinnable game of Tetris. I love that image, but then

    again, maybe I dont really like that image. Do you ever feel like

    your email inbox is actually in control of your life, instead of you

    being in control of your email? According to a recent report from

    the Kinsey Global Institute, the average American spends 28% of

    their time at work, dedicated solely to checking, sending, sorting

    and looking at their email. Thats a huge waste of productivity.

    Thats a fourth of almost our day, everyday at work, spent reading

    emails. An IDC research report also recently found that 79% of

    Americans actually check their email before they go to bed at night.

  • Your Money: Your Choices December 9 th,

    2013

    Page 2 of 22

    Now, you might not think thats a big deal, but theyre checking

    their emails from their smart phones in the bed. The same is true,

    almost exact same percentage, checks their email before they even

    get out of bed. They reach over to that nightstand table and grab

    their phone and check their email right on their phone, before they

    even get up to brush their teeth.

    So today, were going to take a little step back, a little change of

    pace from finance, and were actually going to talk about

    productivity today. Were going to talk about productivity with

    your email, and Ive got the perfect guest today. Hes the king of

    productivity. In fact, he is a ninja. He is the Time Management

    Ninja. So today on the show, Im pleased to have Craig Jarrow with

    us, whos the publisher of the incredible productivity blog, The

    Time Management Ninja.

    If you havent been following the Time Management Ninja, shame

    on you. You should rush out right now, go to

    TimeManagementNinja.com, check out the site, sign up for his

    email newsletter. It is huge; theres over 40,000 followers on his

    email newsletter, and you wont be disappointed. At the end of

    todays show, Im going to tell you about a particular article that

    Craig wrote, that I use everyday. Its incredible, and thats just one

    of many. And, in fact, hes written 2 brand new books: One is about

    crush it is called crushing, or Crush Your Procrastination and

    the other book is You Are Stronger Than You Think The Best

    of Motivation from the Time Management Ninja. Theyre two

    compilations of his best articles from the Time Management Ninja,

    and Im super excited, Ive been a long-time fan, Im ready to talk

    about taking back control of my email inbox with the Time

    Management Ninja himself, Craig Jarrow. So Im pleased to

    welcome Craig to the show. Thanks for being here Craig.

  • Your Money: Your Choices December 9 th,

    2013

    Page 3 of 22

    Im a huge fan of your blog and now your books. I love your two

    new Best of The Time Management Ninja books that you recently

    released. And, there are so many articles that have made impact, I

    know on me, but like I said, I wanted to pick your brain specifically

    about email, and talking about how email consumes our lives and

    about how we can gain a little bit more productivity by using our

    email better. Are we addicted to our email?

    CRAIG JARROW: Thats a great way to cite it. Thats a great way to start, and I dont

    know about clinically speaking, but yes, I think that in general,

    weve become addicted to our phones, right? You dont go

    anywhere without your mobile device, and if you forget it, you turn

    around and you go back home and get it.

    I saw a great stat recently that kind of spelled this out which is 80%

    of people will check their mobile phone, their email, their

    Facebook, their Twitter, before they go to sleep and before they get

    out of bed.

    HANK COLEMAN: Absolutely. I saw the exact same statistic, and I thought that was

    just blew my mind; its amazing.

    CRAIG JARROW: Yeah, it is amazing. Its a little scary. I think that an even higher

    percentage of us sleep with our device on our nightstand or within

    reach of the bed. But, I do think theres a downside to that. You

    know, if youre constantly plugged in, if youre constantly getting

    that barrage of communication, its like you never get to turn your

    mind off. The one that I always call out is checking your work

    email right before you go to bed. Thats probably the worst thing

    you can do because theres really not much you can do about those

    messages until the morning anyway, but then if you get a bad

    message, youre going to be thinking about it and losing sleep all

  • Your Money: Your Choices December 9 th,

    2013

    Page 4 of 22

    night long.

    HANK COLEMAN: Yeah. You know, I found in my line of work, bosses who wanted

    that constant contact with that work email, and youve kind of

    demanded it from their underlings. So its kind of a I guess its

    something like even as bosses, you need to be cognizant of how

    much youre demanding your employees to check their work email.

    CRAIG JARROW: You know thats a great topic in itself Hank, because where is that

    boundary? I mean, were kind of all expected at this point to be

    carrying a device, thats kind of bring your own device that most

    businesses these days, and almost everyones kind of plugged in to

    email. But, where is that boundary? Are you expected to check your

    email morning and night? I had a boss once, he actually he would

    email all night long, up until about midnight or 2am, and then he

    would also be texting by about 6am.

    HANK COLEMAN: Oh my gosh.

    CRAIG JARROW: And, I had to say we need to cut this cord of communication.

    And, it involves setting expectations around where is that boundary

    exists.

    HANK COLEMAN: Is that how you handle it? I mean, do you need to have that frank

    conversation with people who dont respect those boundaries? Is

    that how the best way to handle it?

    CRAIG JARROW: I think so. I think at some point you need to set expectations around

    that type of communication, whether its email or text messages or

    whatever it may be, in terms of I mean, the irony is that one of

    the big advantages of email is that you can time shift, you know?

    You dont have to work on the clock at the same times every as

  • Your Money: Your Choices December 9 th,

    2013

    Page 5 of 22

    everyone else. You could be on a different page, but there has to be

    expectations around how often youre going to be checking that,

    whether youre going to be plugged in 24/7 and all that good stuff.

    But, yeah, I do think theres a valid conversation that a lot of

    businesses need to have around when youre expected to be on,

    how often should you be checking it. Thereve even been some

    push back around that in recent years, and I think theres a couple

    of businesses theres one that made the news not too long ago,

    that the company was trying to bring a balance to that

    communication, and I think they actually shut down their email

    servers after 8pm.

    HANK COLEMAN: You know, you talked about the one study that said 80% of us

    check our email off our phones before we go to bed, before we even

    get out of bed. Theres another one that says that we actually spend

    about two hours a day of our workday, out of eight hour workdays,

    we spend about two hours dealing specifically with email either

    sending it, receiving it, sorting it, going through, getting tasks from

    it. Is email a productivity killer? I mean, thats a quarter of our day.

    CRAIG JARROW: And, I think Ive seen even numbers higher than the two hour mark

    youre mentioning there. I think that some workers are spending

    even more than that, stuck in their inbox. So my question is, if

    youre constantly treading water in your inbox, treading those

    emails, when are you getting your work done? And, I like to tell

    people that email is not your job. You got to get out of your inbox

    and do your work, because otherwise youre just kind of playing

    back and forth with email. So I think that again, email has some

    tremendous and powerful uses, near instantaneous communication

    around the world and allows us to kind of wor