Return with No Stress

You have prepared to go on holiday (See Escape with No Stress) and you have had a lovely time.  You told everyone that you would be out but still, they have sent you emails and you have actions as a result.

For each email,  assess it based on the following process:

Process flow diagram

The aim of this exercise is to categorise the emails and either respond to them or move them so that there are no emails in your inbox.

To do this need to scan each email and make some key decisions:

  • Does the email require an action from you
    • No: Do you need to read it “properly” and digest the contents more thoroughly?
      • No: Do you need to wait for a response to the email?
        • No: Move it to a “To File” folder and forget about it
        • Yes: Move it to a “Waiting” folder so you don’t forget to chase down a response if needed
      • Yes: Move it to a “To Read” folder to read later
    • Yes: Will it tak more than 5 minutes to respond to?
      • No: Respond straight away
        • After responding, are you waiting for a response?
          • No: Move it to a “To File” folder and forget about it
          • Yes: Move it to a “Waiting” folder so you don’t forget to chase down a response if needed
      • Yes: Move to a “To Action” folder

So now you should have all of your emails either responded to and filed away without the need to think about them, or in a folder to action or a folder to read.

On the first day back, the priority is probably to review the contents of the “To Action” folder and respond to as many as possible and then move them to the “To File” or “Waiting” folders”

Personally, I use the integration with Microsoft To-Do to allow me to flag e-mails that need more time to respond to as they are then visible within Microsoft To-Do, but more of To-Do in a later post.