by Susan Crutcher, Life Empowerment Mentor

We’re still within the effects of the July 17th NEW MOON and it’s a perfect time to clear up some clutter! New moon = new beginnings 😉

Clutter can be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or a combination of any and/or all of them. Ponder, for a few minutes, which area would be most effective for you to declutter at this time.

Then, choose ONE item to work on decluttering.

From a business point-of-view, a good place to start physically is either (1) your office desk and area or (2) your email inbox.

As you can see above, my office does get quite cluttered … sometimes, a lot deeper than this! At some point, usually in the summer, it reaches a level where it is no longer tolerable and I take a couple hours to clear the slate. Such relief when finished!

Clearing the office and desk is an easy one actually.

The email inbox clutter is an entirely different monster and can get out of control both stealthily and quickly.

Below are four tips to help you tame the email monster. REPLY and let me know which one you plan to implement (and, coach’s challenge if you’d like to participate, by when).

Clear the Clutter Tip #1

Make a RULE for yourself.

If you open an email, you MUST respond to it immediately.

No ‘setting it aside’ or ‘filing it’ or ‘tagging it’.

Why? Because, you and I both know that the odds of you coming back to it and actually answering are close to nil.

Clear the Clutter Tip #2

Open e-mails at regular intervals throughout the day for specified periods of time.

This may be for 15 to 30 minutes every couple hours or it might be 10 minutes every hour. The variables will depend on what business you are in. They will also depend on your ‘boundaries’ and whether or not you have any. When you set ‘boundaries’ people will, eventually, learn to respect both them and you … more on that one later.

So, it’s your first block of time, you’ve opened your emails. Pay attention to the timeframe you’ve allotted. When the time is up: STOP.

Wait for the next interval to continue.

Avoid the temptation to cheat and do ‘just one more’. This is how time gets away on us.

This practice does take time to master. However, once you start to implement it, it will save you an amazing amount of time.

Clear the Clutter Tip #3

Speaking of saving time …

When sending or responding with very brief e-mails, simply type the answer, question or statement in the ‘subject line’.

Then, follow it with the capital letters: EOM.

This stands for ‘end of message’.

Put nothing in the copy area of the email.

Your system may ask if you want to leave the area blank. Answer, yes.

Let all your recipients know (or put a brief explanation under your signature for a while) what EOM stands for. Eventually, people will catch on to your habit. This saves tremendous amounts of time wasted by opening an email only to find out that it is empty.

Clear the Clutter Tip #4

Unsubscribe RIGHT NOW from any newsletters that you do not open on a regular basis.

Unsubscribe from at least one a day. Eventually, you’ll see a lot less email coming in 🙂

Now, look at today’s emails (during your allotted time).

Look only at the first page displayed in spam; move any you want to save; send rest to trash.

Go to trash and empty all trash.

Doing this simple step daily takes less than 5 minutes and begins the habit of clearing out the inbox.